You're getting a mid week Scatter because your fearless leader has to be at work much earlier than usual. So I'm going to give you some of the good stuff to keep you all going. (grin)
So, to start, this mannered portrait by Luis Alarez Catala' called "Woman Before a Mirror", painted in 1878. I was interested by this image, because it shows so clearly the full collapse of the bustle and the rise of what was known as a cuirass bodice, where the torso was smoothly and tightly shaped from just under the arm to mid thigh. As well it shows nicely the predilection for mixing differing textiles in one garment, a notion which has only recently started to gain ground again after many years in eclipse. This particular dress would have been thought suitable for fairly formal receptions or dinners at home.
Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel as a young woman was a lovely lady, and one can clearly see why she was much pursued by handsome and wealthy men. This portrait shows her already paring down the frills and decorations on her clothes, as her own style began to emerge. This dress is, based on the fashions of the day, almost glaring in its simplicity.
This dress is from very early in Worth's career. When he first started in 1857 he was partnered with Otto Gustave Bobergh, and this gown is from that period: 1861 to be precise. It may have been used as a wedding dress though its being all white is not enough to peg it so. It could just as easily have been a gown for a young woman who was out socially, but as yet, unmarried. It was considered correct for unmarried women to wear lighter colors than their married counterparts. Entirely in white silk satin it is decorated with a self fabric knife pleated band with pearls centered on each pleat and a beautiful lace bertha-style fall covering most of the bodice.