Alice Comyns Carr (1850-1927)

Portrait: Mrs. J.W. Comyns Carr by (her friend) John Singer Sargent, c1889

From Wikipedia: “As a costume designer, Carr was associated with the Aesthetic dress movement and its championship of looser, more flowing garments with theatrical touches such as lace and embroidery. It was rumoured that she was the inspiration behind the comic figure of “Mrs Cimabue Brown” that the cartoonist George du Maurier invented to mock the Aestheticists in some of his drawings for Punch magazine…

For two decades, Carr was actor Ellen Terry’s chief costume designer, succeeding Patience Harris…Carr and Terry continued working together until 1902, when Terry left the Lyceum Theatre. Sargent was a friend of Carr’s and painted her portrait around the same time…

Carr wrote an analysis of fashion in 1750 for The Woman’s World magazine after Oscar Wilde took over the editorship. Carr published a volume of reminiscences in 1926. In it, she wrote, “I had long been accustomed to supporting a certain amount of ridicule in the matter of clothes, because in the days when bustles and skin-tight dresses were the fashion, and a twenty-inch waist the aim of every self-respecting woman, my frocks followed the simple, straight line as waistless as those of today.” “

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