This is a bit of a continuation on the theme of stripes I wrote about on Friday, with curliques.
I'm going to begin with my effusive thanks to the Met for saving this unique garment. It is without question one of the most important designs ever to have been produced by the Worth couture house. Its a sublime combination of the highest levels of the weavers art, and the perfection of the assembly skills of the workers in the Worth atelier.
The ultimate success of this design lies in three things. First, the positioning of the pattern over the body maximizes the ability of stripes to shape the form, and fool the eye. We see the waist as being smaller than it is, the shoulder and hip lines, broader. The lines also create a strong sense of movement, causing the eye to race over the shape towards the top, almost like being propelled in that direction. The second reason is the absolute perfection of how the individual pattern pieces have been joined. Nothing interrupts the flow of those lines, giving the whole construction a grace that is undeniable. And finally, the near absence of any other decorative details allows the strength of this graphic presentation to really sing. There is a shallow ruched gather of the fabric at the neckline, and short gathered silk tulle sleeves with black velvet bows. That's all.