Irma G. Bowen Historic Clothing Collection


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Marie Lamy of Paris

Date Created



Costume; Clothing; Main garments; Dresses


Silk satin, bobbinet, sequins


1890s. Two-piece evening gown by Marie Lamy of Paris, made with black silk satin overlaid with black bobbinet entirely covered with black sequins and additionally trimmed with white bobbinet and passementerie; having a separate bodice, closing in back, with a wide neckline and short puffed sleeves, and a floor-length gored skirt with a train.

The bodice is made of ten pieces in black silk satin flatlined to white plain-weave silk: two center-front panels with a center seam, two side-front panels with diagonal bust darts, two narrow side panels, two side-back panels, and two back panels with a center-back opening. The opening is 30.5 cm / 12 in. long and is missing its hooks. All seams and both opening edges are boned, for a total of eleven stays. The neckline is wide and has a dentellated band added to the front. The hem falls at the natural waistline and has a small point in front; there is a waist-stay ribbon with a label for the couturier Marie Lamy. The sleeves end above the elbow and are very full. They are gathered to both the scyes and to narrow cuffs or bands around the upper arm. They are lined with black cotton.

The skirt is made with three gored panels: one floor-length front panel, and two back panels extending into a train and shaped at the hips with two darts each. The seams joining the front to the backs are positioned over the hips, forward of the actual side. The skirt opening is at the top of the center-back seam and has five hooks. The skirt is joined to its black silk lining only at the waist, and the hems of both the lining and the skirt are supported with a series of ruffles. The underside of the lining has a 10.2 cm / 4 in. pleated ruffle with a pinked scalloped edge, sewn in place at its innermost side. The outside of the lining has a 6.4 cm / 2.5 in. wide double-stacked box-pleated black bobbinet ruffle sewn down along its center line. The hem of the skirt itself has a 26.7 cm / 10.5 in. wide bias strip of satin with a 15.2 cm / 6 in. wide black bobbinet sewn down at both edges, pleated into a series of tiny accordion pleats interspersed with unpleated areas. This is directly beneath the heavily embellished overlay of the skirt, which floats on top.

The entire dress is covered with overlays in one of three styles. The most prevalent is a black bobbinet embroidered in columns of sequins of graduating sizes, from 0.8 cm / 0.3125 in. to 1.3 cm / 0.5 in., used to cover most of the skirt and the sides and back of the bodice. The second is a black machine-made lace embroidered with black sequins, found on the center and neckline of the bodice and the sleeves. The last is a white bobbinet embroidered with tiny steel-colored sequins in a grid, with black sequins, black seed beads, and tapered black silk-wrapped coils, and this is an additional decoration on the train and the skirt hem, as well as on the bodice.

Professionally made with a label reading “Marie Lamy Robes, Lingerie, 19 Chaussée d’Antin, Paris”. Machine-sewn and hand-sewn.


Bust: 96.5 cm / 38 in.
Waist: 63.5 cm / 25 in.
Shoulder: 3.5 cm / 1.375 in.
Sleeve: 29.2 cm / 11.5 in.
Hem: 190.5 cm / 75 in.
Length (skirt front): 99.1 cm / 39 in.
Length (skirt back): 137.2 cm / 54 in.


Gift of Robert and Janet Varney

Museum Number



University of New Hampshire Library


Astrida Schaeffer, photographer/curator

Date Digitized


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License


The Irma G. Bowen Historic Clothing Collection digital catalog was produced by the UNH Library Digital Collection Initiative, supported in part by a grant from the Mooseplate program and New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. Additional funding provided by the E. Ruth Buxton Stephenson Memorial Fund.
Photography copyright, Astrida Schaeffer.


Dresses, Evening gowns, 1890s, Paris, France, Two-piece dresses, Silk satin, Black (color), Overlay, Bobbinet, White (color), Sequins, Steel (color), Seed beads, Machine-made lace, Silk-wrapped coils, Short sleeves, Puffed sleeves, Floor-length skirt, Gores, Trains (costume components), Wide neckline, Plain-weave silk, Darts, Hooks, Boning, Stays, Dentallated band, Natural waistline, Waist-stay ribbon, Cotton lining, Silk lining, Ruffles, Scalloping, Pinked edge, Double stacked box pleats, Accordion pleats, Professionally made, Machine-sewn, Hand-sewn, Varney (donor)


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