Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Dress

Date:
ca. 1805
Culture:
American
Medium:
silk
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Charles Blaney, 1926
Accession Number:
2009.300.2314
Not on view
The Empire silhouette is readily identified with its origins in the chiton of ancient Greco-Romans, which was a tubular garment draped from the shoulders and sometimes belted beneath the bust. Several re-interpretations have occurred throughout costume history but none have been as notable as the period bridging the rectangular panierred skirts of the 18th century and the conical hoop skirts of the 19th century. The neoclassic style was adopted in all forms of decoration after the French Revolution and was upheld during the Napoleonic Wars partly due to Napoleon Bonaparte's (1769-1821) alliance with Greco-Roman principles. In fashion, the style began as children's wear made from fine white cotton, but was adopted by women in the form of a tubular dress with skirts that were gathered under the bust with some fullness over a pad at the back. As the style progressed the skirts began to flatten at the front and solely gather from the bodice at the center back. The style persisted until the 1820s when the waist slowly lowered and the skirts became more bell shaped.
Related Objects

Dinner dress

Date: 1884–86 Medium: silk Accession: C.I.63.23.3a, b On view in:Not on view

Dress

Date: 1860–65 Medium: silk, mother-of-pearl Accession: C.I.69.33.4a–d On view in:Not on view

Dinner dress

Date: ca. 1886 Medium: silk Accession: 2009.300.889a, b On view in:Gallery 742

"Butterfly"

Artist: Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978) Date: 1955 Medium: silk, synthetic Accession: 2009.300.816 On view in:Not on view

Dress

Artist: Ji Eon Kang (American, born 1973) Date: spring/summer 1997 Medium: silk, metal Accession: 1997.250.6 On view in:Not on view