THIS gown was owned by a very wealthy Greenwich, CT women who lived in Paris in the early 1950's.
'm ALWAYS on the hunt for Victorian sidesaddle habits! just two areas of small holes (one lost in folds, the other at the hemline - see photos) and a bit of lining tearing inside skirt hemline. Even the satin INTERIOR of the bodice is gorgeous!!
This one is a riding habit with the skirt that can be worn down as a skirt, or hiked up (as you see) with the silvertone skirt lifter (that came with it). There is one button missing as well (so I would move the top button down and wear a large pin (cameo) at the top buttonhole.... There is a handwritten tag inside that reads "Lepper Gardner".
She was carefully stored and treated like a member of the family.... I have been in this business for well over 25 years myself, and it's rare now that a gown takes my breath away when I see it. The material is perfectly strong and nearly like new (even the underarms are clean!!! Just slightly smaller than this dressform, so the hook at the waist isn't hooked (didn't want to stress the fabric), yet the waistband inside did fasten. There are wool areas at the shoulders and down the back and front as well. I could have told you how expensive just from the fabric and construction... but this one comes with a KILLER evening swing jacket to make a great entrance!! perhaps even more so due to the draped neckline at back. The gown has a slight fishtail, fitted drop waistline, wide nearly off the shoulder neckline. Under THAT, or actually the lining, is an ecru and pink patterned silk of wheat sheaths design.
) with the few exceptions of the extreme minor spots that blend in with the design (hardly worth mentioning at all.... Might want a couple more petticoats under for proper shape if you display. I have been lucky enough to have found and sold a few other lace items from Maurice-Mayer, Paris, including a lace gown (which you can still see from my museum archive pages at: and a lace and ermine jacket ( And not surprisingly, I found an article in a 1912 newspaper that lists a Maurice Meyer blue velvet wrap for $350 (which is nearly $5,000 in today's dollars)!!! and the only other detail is at the shoulders, with a satin trim. The incredible beauty here is that the opposite side of the lining shows as pink and white through the sheer chiffon!!!
Skirt measures: 26" waist, 38" long from waist to hem in front, 46" long in back.