Aesthetic Rosegarden dress



Anna-Mari Kaipainen


(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

Aesthetic dresses and reform dresses or artistic dresses, as this type of loose Art Nouveau era dresses are called, have fascinated me so much that I wanted to make my own. They are such lovely, artful, elegant and comfortable garments. I made this dress back in the end of the year 2021 and I think it matches perfectly to the competition theme The Natural World. I fell in love with the embroidered rose trim when I saw it and I knew it would make a lovely decoration for an Art Nouveau dress with it's beautiful design. The trim was my starting point in designing the dress. The rose design also makes the dress perfect for the competition theme. I first collected as many aesthetic and artistic dress pictures as I could for my design inspiration and then designed my own dress, trying to follow the lines and silhouettes of some extant dresses. The assembling of the trim was also influenced by some extant dresses. I wanted the dress to be loose, not requiring a corset, and I also wanted a small train and bishop sleeves which I find very elegant. The collar is detatchable so the dress can be worn without it too. The basic design is quite simple, and the trim and buttons really makes the dress.

Outline the construction…

There wasn't available reform dress patterns so I made the pattern myself, draping plastic sheet over a dress dummy. The sleeve pattern is from the book The Voice of Fashion. The front is straight, flaring towards the hem, the wide back is gathered on the neck. The dress has loosely form fitting cotton lining, attached to the fashion fabric on the neck and it buttons up on the side front like the dress, and the lining extends to a flounced petticoat. There are short sleeves in the lining to protect the underarms of the dress. The hem has 13 cm cotton underlining and 4 cm wide cotton velvet showing a bit on the right side, with a cotton cord inside the fold giving more structure on the hem. The outside of the hem is adorned with vintage rayon ribbon that I dyed to burgundy, to match the embroidery.

The fabric is raw silk, thick and soft, the rose trim is an old recycled embroidered sari trim hand sewn on the dress, there are 98 vintage buttons, closed with loops sewn from fabric tube. Neck and sleevebands have a matching cord finishing handsewn on. The chemisette collar is made of handmade linen bobbin lace and handsewn together and attached to the dress with hooks and thread loops around the neck opening. There are five bones on the collar keeping it up. I have made the big bold necklace from brass sheet and I have mounted a jasper on it.




  1. Avatar Sarah Sarah Coombs on April 26, 2023 at 10:39 pm

    I love this! What a beautiful rendering of Aesthetic dress, a dress/cultural movement that sometimes gets overlooked!

  2. Avatar Lynne Eie on April 26, 2023 at 11:34 pm

    Oooo’d when I saw this! So lovely! I love the elegance of this. This is something I would want to wear and I am so glad you entered it, just to be able to see it. Thank you!

  3. Avatar Christiane Edel on May 5, 2023 at 10:50 am

    You look like you just stepped out of the Wiener Werkstätte! Beautiful!

  4. Avatar Abigail Lamb on May 8, 2023 at 10:42 pm

    I love this and the perfect presentation!

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