Ladies attending Their Majesties' Courts will appear in Full Dress, with Trains and Plumes.1
Worn only during the ceremony in which selected individuals were introduced to the King and Queen, court dress was an elegant, highly regulated uniform. Adhering to the spoken and unspoken regulations governing court dress was almost as important as having the "correct" background. Each European court had its own version of court dress, which was more or less elaborate depending on the wealth of the particular court. The court gown and train pictured above are both on display in FABULOUS!, our current exhibition.
We are fortunate to know the provenance of this court gown. It was worn by American Ann Bloomfield Gamble Post during her 1907 presentation to King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom. Edward was a popular leader; his accession to the throne in 1901 transformed the somber court of his mother Queen Victoria into "an exceptionally brilliant spectacle."1 Alexandra exerted a major influence on fashion. Presentation at their court was a eagerly anticipated social privilege.