Ball gown, Jacques Doucet (French, Paris 1853–1929 Paris)1898–1900

Jacques Doucet was first, and foremost, a connoisseur of art. Additionally, his passion for the refined and exquisite overflowed into his dealings with fashion, making him one of the finest French couturiers during the Belle Époque. The House of Doucet began as a family business, specializing in women’s lingerie and laces, as well as articles of clothing for men. Founded in 1817, the company rose to fame under the hand of Jacques. The house was known for its luxurious offerings, which were worn and coveted by royalty, members of the elite society in both Europe and America, and actresses of the stage.

This ball gown is simplistic in design, yet extravagant by the choice of materials used. The sheer overlayer is enhanced by the solid lamé underlayers and a sense of luxury is added by the hidden lace flounce at the hem. Undoubtedly, a woman would make an entrance in this dress, as it is extremely seductive with its form fitting silhouette and low décolleté. | THE MET

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