© Catherine Esera All rights reserved.

1880's Bustle Gown in Pintucked Taffeta

This 1880’s Bustle Gown In Pintucked Taffeta was designed for Sabrina Daldry by David Kay Mickelsen for South Coast Repertory’s production of Sarah Ruhl’s “In the Next Room or the vibrator play”.

I have always loved bustle gowns. The complexity, the frequent asymmetry, and the often use of multiple fabrics in one ensemble all make this era exciting to see and David’s designs did not disappoint.

Not including the chemise, corset, bloomers, bustle, and petticoat this dress consisted of a bodice (yes, that is all one piece!), an underskirt and an overskirt.  It was so fun to figure out and I still refer to this bodice as “The Combination Lock Bodice”. This gown was a fun challenge to pattern and build because the actor needed to take it off and put back on in front of the audience. It needed to be easy enough for her to do but use period accurate techniques.

In the Next Room 01

Pictured: Rebecca Mozo and Kathleen Early
Photo: Paul Rodriguez for South Coast Repertory. Used with permission.

In the Next Room 02
In the Next Room 03