Portfolio: 1879-82 ‘Suson’ Ensemble

The Idea and Inspiration:

To recreate Suson’s ensemble from Manet’s 1882 painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, now in the collection of the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

Fabric and Materials:

Jacket of black silk and rayon velvet with cotton broadcloth lining.   Skirt of shot blue and bronze silk dupion, lined in fine grey cotton.

The Dress Diary:

Introduction and inspiration

Cutting and sewing the jacket

How to sew darts in velvet, a tutorial

The skirt and jacket

Buttons for the jacket

The finished ensemble

At the Capturing the Mode talk

Research and Resources:

Inspiration taken from the 1878 fantail skirt pattern and the 1887 waterfall overskirt pattern at longago.com (scroll 3/4 way down), with extensive adaptations to fit the 1882 date of the painting

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