1866 black silk faille two-piece dress. Though it appears extremely formal and elegant to our contemporary eyes, it would have been worn to a dinner or reception, rather than the most formal of evening balls. The black ground creates a luxurious contrast to the multicolored floral sprays, which feature poppies, roses, and bleeding hearts among other flowers.
Dinner dress | British | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Dinner dress (image 2) | British | 1855-59 | silk, cotton | Metropolitan Museum of Art | Accession Number: C.I.69.14.9a, b