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Rare Gowns Found in Trunks Unpack Important Fashion History

"Numerous Louis Vuitton steamer trunks sat abandoned for decades in a forgotten storeroom in a fifteenth-century Florentine villa. When a painting conservator eventually stumbled upon the trunks, what she found inside were not only 38 beautiful gowns, but a lost piece of fashion history was also unpacked, along with the life of Hortense Mitchell Acton, the wealthy American banking heiress who owned them." - Antique Trader


From Antique Trader:


"Twenty-one of the incredible dresses had a silk label with “Callot Soeurs” hand-woven onto it. Callot Soeurs was a celebrated design house in Paris and one of the most famous names in Belle Époque fashion. The house’s top seamstress was Madeleine Vionnet, one of the most innovative and influential designers of the twentieth century who rejected corsets and buttons and pioneered the bias-cut dress.


Not many haute-couture creations designed by Callot Soeurs have survived. Hence, the gowns found decaying inside the trunks in 2004 were a rare and significant discovery, and the collection is one of the most important archives of the couturiers in the world. They were first shown in The New Yorker in 2015."


Click Here, or the image below, to learn more and to see many fabulous photos of the gowns.


Photo Below: One of the dresses found in the trunks is this pink and cream silk evening ballgown with embroidered metallic net overlay and train, circa 1907. The portrait by Julius Rolshoven is of American heiress Hortense Mitchell Acton wearing the dress. - Courtesy of New York University, Acton Collection, Villa La Pietra, Florence




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Stunning garments. Can't imagine wearing them but some fortunate women did!

Debra Huewe
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Such beautiful and amazing creations! Thank you, Quilt Show, for sharing this article.

Jennifer Grist
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An amazing story, I never cease to learn with the Quilt Show!

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