- Dolly Varden (costume)
The term Dolly Varden in dress is generally understood to mean a brightly patterned, usually flowered, dress with a polonaise overskirt gathered up and draped over a separate underskirt. The overdress was typically made from printed cotton or chintz, although it can be made from other materials such as lightweight wool, silk and muslin. A 1869 fashion doll in the collection of the V&A Museum of Childhood is dressed in the Dolly Varden mode; unusually the outfit is in dark colours. The Gallery of Costume in Manchester holds a more typical Dolly Varden dress in its collections, made of white linen with a pink and mauve flowered print.
A Dolly Varden hat as it relates to the dress, is usually understood to mean a flat straw hat trimmed with flowers and ribbons, very like the 18th century bergère hat.
The 'Dolly Varden' fashion fad inspired many popular songs, such as G.W. Moore's Dressed In A Dolly Varden and Alfred Lee's novelty song Dolly Varden (published Cleveland, 1872) which contains the lyrics:
Have you seen my little girl? She doesn’t wear a bonnet.
She’s got a monstrous flip-flop hat with cherry ribbons on it.
She dresses in bed furniture just like a flower garden
A blowin’ and a growin’ and they call it Dolly Varden..
The fashion led to the naming of the Dolly Varden trout.
- ^ The Ladies' Treasury (2005). "Fashion in the 1870s and '80s". http://www.tudorlinks.com/treasury/articles/view187080.html. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
- ^ 1869 Fashion doll wearing Dolly Varden costume in the collection of the V&A Museum of Childhood. Accessed 6-2-2010
- ^ Dolly Varden dress in the collections database of the Gallery of Costume, Manchester. Accessed 6-2-2010
- ^ http://www.dickensandshowbiz.com/sb054.htm = Scans of two 1872 Dolly Varden themed music sheets
- ^ Levey, W. C. The Dolly Varden (polka music) composed by W.C. Levey Accessed 6-2-2010
- A more in-depth examination of various contemporary references to the Dolly Varden fashion, with illustrations
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