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Woman’s Formal Gown "Robe à la Française"

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unknownca. 1775 probably Francesilk taffeta, striped, linenmanteau: L 167 cm; jupe: L 96 cm

This formal gown consists of an open manteau, a type of coat that was worn over a jupe, a skirt. Relatively plain silk taffeta with a colour-gradient from claret to pale pink has been used for both the dress and ornamentation. In the back the material is gathered into the typical Watteau pleat, and forms a train. The dress was worn over a great oval crinoline and laced in the back to obtain its fitted form. A matching bodice or stomacher (reconstructed here) to complete the top have not survived.