Silk Tulle And Lace Ruffle Step-In

Silk tulle and lace ruffle step-in Photography by Tigz Rice Studios The Underpinnings Museum

Date:  c. late 1910s or early 1920s

Origin: Unknown, possibly Great Britain

Fabric: Silk

This early example of the camiknicker/step-in teddy style is remarkable both in its decidedly luxurious fabrication and in how scandalous such a sheer piece would have been deemed. It is certainly likely that such a garment would have been designed for the boudoir rather than everyday wear.

This garment is made entirely of silk, including an incredibly fine silk tulle, silk leavers lace and silk ribbon. It is entirely hand sewn, with exquisitely fine and well tensioned stitches throughout.

It is a relatively simply cut piece, echoing the movement from complex Edwardian trousseaus to the simple, rectangular focused shapes of the 1920s. The bodice has a single back seam, joined to vertically seamed legs through a ribbon channel waistband. The back fastens with a series of shell buttons and hand made loops and a silk bow at the waist.

Silk leavers lace is applied at the neckline: there are two tiers at the front that are interrupted at the side of the garment, leaving just the single top tier at the back of the garment. The legs of the garment have 4 tiers of lace stitched to them, with additional decorative stripes of tulle appliquéd above the centre two pieces of lace.

Given this garment’s age and the fragility of silk tulle, it is in remarkably good condition with only a few pulls and minor staining. It must have been a treasured piece and carefully stored for the silk to still be largely in tact.


From the collection of Karolina Laskowska

Museum Number: KL-2016-003


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