For example, the dresses of Empress Elisabeth of Bavaria (Sisi).
According to the rules of Spanish etiquette (which was taken in the 16th century and preserved at the Vienna court until the 19th century), the Empress wore evening and festive dresses only once.
Elizabeth Of Austria.
Portrait by Franz Winterhalter, 1865
Sisi preferred quality above quantity. She was lucky to have beauty, taste and unlimited funds.
An original dress from the painting of Winterhalter.
Dresses cost a fortunу and were NEVER WASHED (opposed to casual dresses). These creations of "haute couture" were built of many different materials: tulle, silk, lace, organza. When washing, every fabric changed its structure on its own, different, way, and the dress never looked gorgeous again. Finally, the dresses were covered with cloth and moved to a closet, the maids took them and cleaned from time to time. Now they are in museums and collections in different cities.
Court dress, 1885
Sisi was one of the first queens in Europe to wear exclusive garments 2-3 times, ignoring etiquette. Cloth wipes were sewn into the area of underarms to absorb sweat, and then were changed.
Sisi Coronation dress, 1867. Copy. The original is not preserved.
Did you know how they treated spots? Ripped a whole piece of a dress open and replaced it.
The last "maiden" dress of Sisi was almost 2 meters in diameter. It was brought to her by her father Maximilian, the Duke of Bavaria, from the East.
And casual dresses, of course, had been washed, the spots could be removed with some petrol. The dresses could be presented to court ladies, too.
Dress with velvet appliqués.
At the moment, there are 11 original dresses of Sisi in various museums. They are regularly checked by special textile restorers. For one such dress, collectors pay at least 50 thousand euros.
The train of the wedding dress.