Pale Pink Habotai Silk & Filet Lace Bed Jacket

Pale Pink Habotai Silk & Filet Lace Bed Jacket, c. 1920s, USA. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice

Date: c. 1920s

Origin: United States

Fabric: Habotai silk, cotton filet lace

Brand: Unknown

 

The bedjacket is a short cut jacket style designed to be worn whilst reclining or sitting in bed. Early examples can be dated to the 19th century, but the style was popularised in the 1930s after it appeared heavily in Hollywood films, quickly gaining an association of glamour and luxury. Bed jackets became more of a decorative lingerie style, as opposed to purely being worn for warmth. Fabrics such as lace, tulle and satin became popular, alongside extravagant embllishments such as feathers, embroidery and appliqué.

This jacket is a relatively lightweight version of the style, made of just a single layer of silk habotai, with insertion filet lace appliqué and trim. There is some decorative gathering at the bustline overlaid with ribbonwork rosettes, and the garment fastens at the bust with a silk ribbon tie. Gathers at the centre back are worked into with faggoting embroidery. The garment is cut incredibly simply, with the fabric panels essentially cut as rectangles; the gathered details at the bust and back serve to give the jacket a semblance of fitted shape. The rectangular and unfitted sleeves are stitched in place at the underarm with silk rosettes.

 

From the collection of Karolina Laskowska

Museum number: KL-2020-023

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