Ribbon-embroidered net coat, c.1900
This superb "lace" coat is timeless. When first worn, it probably had a black lining that gave it a more rigidly structured appearance suitable for a lady of means. In the current incarnation, the coat can be worn either over pants or over an evening dress.
The "lace" is actually embroidery on a net ground. The textural combination of black ribbon and braid (4th picture down) is especially imaginative. In most great design, there is one element that makes the design "pop." Here, it is the ingenious textural combination.
The distinctly Iberian black used is so powerful that the designer should have had to pay a royalty for the privilege, as the great painter Manet effectually did. Borrowing from photography after 1850, painters and fashion designers used black to habituate the viewer to the effects of a meeting of light and texture.
The coat closes in front with concealed hooks; the large, three-dimensional buttons are decorative only. The gently shaped waist and relaxed cut define the figure while maintaining a comfortable fit. The skirt of the coat has deep sides slits almost to the waist.
The condition is excellent.
It measures: 40" bust, 36" waist, 42" hip, 15 1/2" from shoulder seam to shoulder seam, 24" sleeve length, and 52" from shoulder to hem, including the fringe.