Barbra Streisand wore this black velvet dress as Rose Morgan in “The Mirror Has Two Faces.” (1996) This was the third film which Barbra directed. Theoni V. Aldredge served as the costume designer fo this production. Outfits chosen for Rose’s early “pre-makeover” were purposely unflattering, frumpy and baggy to create the illusion of the character having more weight and less sex appeal. In the film Rose wears this dress while at dinner with Gregory and enjoying her “perfect bite.” At the time this film was made, velvet was majorly trendy and a staple in nearly every girl & woman’s closet.
This maxi dress was made from black four way stretch velvet. It features long sleeves with a jewel neckline. It is heavily gathered at the empire waistline and has a hook and eye closure at the back. Paired with this dress is a gorgeous Irish crochet lace collar, which presumably came from Barbra’s large personal collection of these. This was worn with a small cameo brooch at its center. Barbra wore a similar collar on the cover of her 1985 “The Broadway Album.” This style of detachable crochet collar was extremely popular in the 1840’s and made fashion comebacks in the 1940’s as well as the 1980’s. Irish crochet lace was developed in the mid-nineteenth century as a way of imitating expensive Venetian point laces. It begins with an outline of a pattern on a piece of cloth. Each motif is crocheted separately, using cotton cord for volume and shaping, then basted onto the pattern cloth and joined together with chains and picots. Once all pieces have been joined, the basting stitch is removed from the cloth, revealing the completed piece of lace.