What is the Peacock Dress?

The Peacock Dress today. Image (c) Cathy Hay

In 1902, every society woman aspired to have her dresses made by Worth, the premier haute couture name of the day. Worth’s 1902 Peacock Dress is a stunningly beautiful feat of intricate goldwork embroidery, and perhaps the most dazzling star in their repertoire.

It is a two piece dress – bodice and skirt – that is so heavily embroidered in gold and silver that the base fabric cannot be seen. The pattern is a network of interlocking stylised peacock feathers, each of which is accented with an “eye” made from a real beetle elytra (wing cover). The neckline is accented with a lace panel embellished with rhinestones and sequins, more exquisite lace hangs from the shoulders, and the hem is encircled with white silk roses. It is a unique state gown of extraordinary quality and skill.

The Peacock Dress dazzles and entices the viewer to ask a hundred questions, and most of all to wonder… how did it feel to wear a dress like this?


Posted on

August 31, 2014

1 Comment

  1. Fernando

    Was it worn by Lady Curzon only once? So the alteration was done for her daughter?


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