Dress by Mon Vignon, ca 1869-70 France
Many of you have probably seen this dress but I wanted to add an interesting little fact about it that you may not know.
What color would you say the fabric is? Purple? Actually, it’s mauve as it was meant to look. The first synthetic dye, mauveine, was discovered by accident in 1856 when an 18-year-old student was trying to find a cure for malaria. Being the first of its kind, there were problems with the dye that caused the color to fade relatively quickly. This is why our modern idea of the color mauve is sort of a faded grayish-purple. Examples that have faded little do exist, though, as seen here.