In early 1897, Jean-Philippe Worth received a rush order for a fancy dress costume from a regular client via transatlantic cable. Recreating the costume worn by the Infanta as portrayed by Velasquez through the use of modular components and an accurate dress form maintained for his client, Worth was able to complete and ship his commission back to New York 24 hours later. The gown itself betrays no evidence of its lightning-fast manufacture. Its silken lining and silver lace underscore the high period standards borne by all garments carrying the Worth label.
Bodice: Barrel-shaped, padded; boned, waist-length, center front busk point; bateau neck, pleated organza inset, galon d’argent edging, lace shoulder ruffle, ruched velvet band, taffeta cockade at collarbone; long puffed organza sleeves, overlaid with embellished satin bands, creating slashed effect, triple-layered mushroom pleated organza gauntlet cuffs, applied lace at wrist and cuff edges, pink satin double bow at wrists; garland draped across torso from right shoulder to left waist, looped end falling to knee.
Skirt: Pannier-style, floor-length, triple tiers of embellished satin; lace apron.
In true 17th-century manner, the shaping of the heavily boned and padded bodice makes no attempt to conform to the body’s natural contours—a radical departure from other contemporary period interpretations. Both bodice and double-layered white satin skirt are applied with hand-sewn satin-weave-edged white organza ribbon, its stripes separated by bands of galon d'argent. The converging bodice ribbons are mitered into a center front seam. The ribbons on the skirt are horizontally placed.
Worn by Kate Brice to the Bradley-Martin Ball, February 10, 1897.
Anonymous Gift, 1942.