Gatsby’s dress is actually a variation of the old-fashioned duchy-coat, with a large waist, large sleeve and a deep v-neck. The duchess’ own dressing gown with a waist and sleeves similar to that of Gatsby was also originally intended for the duchess, but that was taken back by the queen.
What is it used for?
The dress is usually worn as part of a gala setting because it is seen to be fashionable and has a classic silhouette.
It is sometimes worn during a ducking contest (as it is shown here) as an alternative to the crown on the headdress, or when a duchess or other distinguished lady of the court wants a look that is “modern and fashionable” and not excessively ostentatious.
What is its origins?
According to James Grosz, the fashion historian:
“The Grosz family, which was the first to make suits popular, also invented draping. They came up with a pattern for ‘sailors’ suits with a deep v-neck and waist, and a style that is called ‘Bridgette Grosz’ for its low waistline and wide waist. The Grosz coat is worn so frequently that there is a nickname called ‘Bridgette Grosz’ at the Grosz home in New York.”
The duchess has been shown wearing this garment in several photographs showing her at court; but it was first worn in 1864, by Anne-Marie de Rothschild. Other famous duchesses have also done so. Among them was Mary, who was often shown wearing the gown.
Is it a sign of wealth?
No, the duchess’ style is based on the ducal habit of clothing while in bed and while sleeping – not on wearing the gown while in public.
How long does the gown stay up?
The duchess’ draping gown can be kept up for several hours – even if worn at night, since no one notices if she is wearing it when she is not.
It has also been shown in some films where the duchess has taken it off during some scenes, showing her to be quite self-conscious about her attire and its effect on her look-making in front of the camera.
In fact, in some cases the gown has been shown to cause a
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