Victorian Dress Made From Insect Parts Is Restored, Wing By Wing

When your sparkly take on the classic LBD looses a few paillettes you can either send it to a trusted seamstress and have it back in a week, or chuck the whole thing and hunt down a new one. When England's National Trust noticed that a iridescent green gown worn by stage star Ellen Terry (above, right) when she played Lady Macbeth at London's Lyceum Theatre in 1888 was missing a few of the beetle wings that gave it its green glow, however, they had to patiently collect and reapply the real thing. Covered in the naturally shed wings of the jewel beetle, the dress is surely a treasure—thousands upon thousands of tiny wings stitched together so finely it took 1,300 hours just to restore, not make. It's almost impossible to imagine a couturier doing that today. Thanks to careful conservation of wings that had fallen off over the years and a successful drive for wing donations (yes, donations) the dress that once adorned one of England's greatest actresses as she played one of Shakespeare's craziest women will be on display at Ellen Terry's preserved home at Smallhythe Place, Kent for years to come—a perfect stopover for the fashion lover with a side interest in entomology. (Mail UK)
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