do you think its strange that some dressing gowns are made of fabric with very modern looking designs? for example some have animal print like stripes or spots, from the few pictures of dressing gowns from the 19th century ive been able to find online most have a floral pattern if any at all...
I’m not sure I agree with you. The turn-of-the-century/Belle Epoque/early 20th century dressing gowns and tea gowns were often very delicate, fluffy, white, lace decorated, and extremely feminine. Like this example here.
But the Victorian ones? Not so much! They were fond of bright colours, lots of decorations, and often with fabrics or cuts showing they knew the world - inspiration from Japanese kimonos and Chinese Mandarin robes were particularly popular, but also Indian inspired paisleys. There’s furthermore versions pretty much looking like something Scarlett O’Hara would have made, with “curtain” fabrics and tassels. These were often inspired by historical garments, of 18th century sack back gowns and justaucorps jackets, or of the pelisse coats of the Regency era.
Some of these can just as well be used as “tea gowns”, informal robes that weren’t quite dressing gowns but they weren’t for outdoor wear either. They were formal enough to receive visitors in, at least if the visitor was a friend, but they were soft and informal.
But point is, the white dressing gown Christine wears in the stage show is more Belle Epoque/Edwardian than Victorian. It’s not impossible to find something similar from the 1870s and 1880s, not at all. But TYPICAL Victorian dressing gowns and tea gowns were colourful, even noisy by today’s standard. And by this standard I don’t think the various patterns seen in Christine’s dressing gowns is particularly out of place. The only one I’m not crazy fond of is the West End “zebra” look they did for a while, I’m sure there is a Victorian example of something similar somewhere. NOTHING surprise me about historical clothing after I saw this elegant 1768 gentleman’s attire:
YES THAT IS TOTALLY LEOPARD BREECHES!