ghostly ballgown


This edwardian ballgown arrived recently – it’s incredibly fragile and delicate – much of it disintegrates when I touch it but there is still tons of usable and inspiring stuff.  I spent the better part of a day photographing and examining it and then  taking it apart. I found a label in the sleeve that says  B. Altman & Co. NEW YORK; it is one of my  all time favorite garments and reminds me of the very first antique gown, or really pieces of a gown, that inspired my very first birds. I didn’t photograph the gown, I so wish I had, but I still have two of the birds and I’ll show them to you soon.

ballgown3 ballgown 4 ballgown 2 ballgown 5

I’m making a havisham spider from it today, if I finish it before the light goes I’ll post another picture.

havisham spider


  1. Oh Ann … what an amazing thing this dress is!
    I love how you have it floating in the branches … makes me think of someone running home through the forest, and disappearing as the dress snagged on the branches.


  2. absolutely stunning.
    I enjoyed enlarging each photo and examining the plethora of details and fabrics and embellishments.
    what a marvelous find!

  3. WOW…..there are other words but it is amazing….your art is so outstanding….i love, love all of it…where on earth do you find the fabric’s…just 2 beartiful 4 words!

    thanks for sharing

  4. it is an amazing gown – it floats rather than just hangs. looking forward to see what you create from it!

  5. This gown is just stunning! Ghostly indeed. If a dress could be haunted I think this one certainly could be… Just beautiful!

  6. Hi, Ann,
    I made a post with the pics of the fisher price dollhouse and link for you.
    In the pics, my little sun playing with the dollhouse… I’m talking about vintage and sustentability.
    That’s the same relation that I made about your work in that another post.
    By the way, I think it is gorgeous!
    ps: I made a post about a picnic with my mother (when she was a child) in Washington dc. She said to me that in that three whith a litlle house there was a litlle doll of Alice in Wonderland. It´s like the three she fall. But she don´t know wich park is it.

  7. De belles matières pour une artiste aussi inventive et créative que vous. Les merveilles que vous allez faire avec, je suis impatiente de les voir. Amitiés de Fine.

  8. Sandy Black

    Love the dress. In so many ways I feel like you are my soul sister.

  9. Amazing. I don’t know where you get this stuff from. The only vintage garments I have are family heirlooms so I can’t cut them up. Though they are lovely to have!

  10. What a wonderful find! Where on earth do you find these treasures? The dress looks fabulous even when tattered and hanging from a branch but I also like to imagine how the original Edwardian owner would be delighted to learn that her dress is going to be transformed into one of your magical creatures.

  11. This is so gorgeous … I love it. I just posted the picture to my tumblr page … linking back to you, of course. :-

    When I have something like this, I feel as though I am not “allowed’ to cut into it … to the point where I sell it rather than use it. Your post has shaken the cobwebs out of my head – at least enough to see that if I can sell it to someone else – and then they cut it – then surely I can cut it myself. Thank you1

  12. I came over via Morna..what an amazing dress. I wonder what history there is behind the gown and the woman/women who wore it. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Soooo creative and simply ,beautifully shot.Love your work.I’m new to your blog!

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