adjective: old fashioned, out of style, unfashionable [from French, the past participle of démoder "to go out of fashion," from mode "fashion"].


historical research

the gowns:

the presentation


The Empress Eugenie - Created & Modeled by Lana Bailey

Empress Eugenie
Empress Eugenie
The Empress Eugenie
Lana as the Empress


The dress in the painting appears to be made out of white silk organza, lined in white silk taffeta.  Bows appear to be purple silk satin with coordinating horizontal accent trim under rushed white organza.  Two rows of 2” lace and another row wide lace adorn the fichu, as shown in the painting
As reproduced, Lana used exactly what the portrait appears to have in terms of materials, with the exception of the horizontal accent trim and fichu where silk crepe dechine was used. 

fabric fabric


This is a simple center point bodice with double puff sleeves and bows.  The bodice is accented with a lace-trimmed fichu and purple bow.

The reproduction bodice pattern came from a commercial pattern (unknown) but has been revised so much as to not resemble the original.   It is fashioned after a standard 1850s bodice with princess seams and a back laced closure.  It is constructed with three layers, the silk taffeta and silk organza flat lined in white cotton.  The top of the bodice is finished with single piping while the waist is double piped.   Armholes are also piped.  The tucker was created out of net with a ribbon drawstring.

The fichu was discovered as not a bertha but a wrap around the body as indicated by the purple stripe down the side of the bodice in the painting.   Sleeves are double puffs with a purple bow trim and end in a double lace ruffle.

Examples of fichus front and back on 1850s fashion plates.

bodice bodice


There are three flounces on the over skirt.  Each one has a 2" hem and then a 2" tuck.   At the top of each flounce is a band of scalloped organza ruching 3" wide with a 2" band of purple silk crepe dechine underneath.   Double faced silk satin fabric has been scalloped to create ribbon Bows.   Flounces are attached to a white organza base over a white silk taffeta lining.  Taffeta lining has been hemmed using white organdy similar to book muslin used in original garments of the period.

skirt Empress Eugenie


Chemise and split-drawers were drafted using instructions created by Elizabeth Stewart Clark, and made of white cotton.  Corset is original pattern that achieves the 1850’s gusseted-corset look without the actual gussets in the garment.  Hoop skirt was constructed using a Simplicity Pattern and made from white cotton.  Petticoat is flounced and made from white organdy.  Socks match originals to the tee.



According to a gardening specialist, the flowers in the painting appear to be a French poesy.  Fake flowers of a similar shape and style are used.


Hair pieces are used to create the style of the painting and period.  Fake flowers are used again to accent hair.

hair bodice
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Last revised June 20, 2008.
This page is http://www.demodecouture.com/projects/eugenie/pierres.html.