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Title: Of Frills and Feathers

Collection: The Regency Wardrobe

Garment: Woman’s day dress

Size: Life-sized

Materials: FSC accredited paper tablecloth, tissue paper, quilling paper strips, rice paper, crêpe paper, embroidery thread, Watermark Koume white paper


The design of this dress is inspired by the long transparent over-sleeves that were popular in the 1820s. When caught by ribbons in puffs all the way down they were known as ‘Marie sleeves’ after Marie Antoinette or ‘Mameluke sleeves’ after the Mamluks; a class of warrior-enslaved people mostly of Turkic or Caucasian ethnicity during the 9th to the 19th century in the Islamic world.


The decoration of the patterned trim around the skirt of this piece is inspired by the hand-painted wallpaper in the William IV Room in The Royal Pavilion as is the accompanying wall hanging.


This piece is also inspired by: Maria Cunnyngham (1787-1842) who lived at no.10 Brunswick Square, Hove. She is one of five women who it has been imagined, in order to inform The Regency Wardrobe collection, might have attended a gathering in advance of The Grand Ball held at The Royal Pavilion, Brighton in 1831 in honour of the birthday of the Duke of Sussex. She would have been 44 in the year 1831.

She was born in West Lothian, Scotland, her father a captain. Maria married Robert Cunnyngham  in 1813. Robert would in fact die in 1832 but Maria would remain living in Brunswick Square, hosting and attending numerous dinners and social events


*Please note: Part of the concept of The Regency Wardrobe is that the colour of many of the pieces risks fading over time. This is to reflect:

- research done by The House of Embroidered Paper into Regency era garments and the observation that the colures of their surfaces have faded overtime (as evidenced by looking under seams and inside material crevices).

- how historical events and people fade in the collective memory

- how the power and prestige of civilizations and empires fades overtime.

- how the surfaces of most items we find left to us from history have faded.

Areas of this piece therefore risk changing colour/fading over-time. That is, they may effectively, noticeably, age just as we do.

Of Frills and Feathers

  • This unique 'one off' piece is available to purchase.

    Please click here to discuss purchase options direct with Stephanie at the House of Embroidered Paper.

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