Just before our cross atlantic trip, we followed Alice Bygrave’s skirt Louisa Bygrave convertible skirt, and Mary & Sarah Pease’s cape, to make our mock-up toile for the next garment by Madame Julia Gill, a Court Dressmaker, whose patent was filed in 5th Jan 1895 and accepted on 16th Feb 1895.
Nadia, our incredibly talented tailor/pattern cutter, worked with Julia’s patent and our detailed brief that pulled together all sorts of other cultural and historic references to construct a pattern and also make a toile.
A Court Dressmaker like Julia Gill wouldn’t have been making clothes for royalty, but rather the fashionable classes of the general public, in order to attend functions, for each individual season, as opposed to just when they wore out of even each year. She was probably very busy during the annual ‘London Season’, a period from December through to June when people from outside London took local lodgings and ordered a new wardrobe in which to engage in business, politics, social and courtship activities.
The fact that Julia had been designated as a Madam as a salutation could have afforded her a higher sale price for her time and her garments, and she would have had fittings with clients, perhaps with a team of seamstresses working with her.
Julia would have been used to taking inspiration from pictures brought in, such as illustrations from The Lady Cyclist, adding lavish detail, and costly fabrics and projects, and for clients who wielded larger incomes.