Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Robe à l'Anglaise

Date:
1785–95
Culture:
American
Medium:
cotton, baleen
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; A. Augustus Healy Fund, 1934
Accession Number:
2009.300.647
Not on view
Women with coquettish airs were imposing in robes à la française and robes à l'anglaise throughout the period between 1720 and 1780. The robe à l'anglaise developed with a fitted back after the style of dress worn in England. The silhouette, composed of a funnel-shaped bust feeding into wide rectangular skirts, was inspired by Spanish designs of the previous century and allowed for expansive amounts of textiles with delicate Rococo curvilinear decoration. The wide skirts, which were often open at the front to expose a highly decorated underskirt, were supported by panniers created from padding and hoops of different materials such as cane, baleen or metal. The robes à l'anglaise are renowned for the beauty of their textiles, the meticulous fit of their back and their skirt decorations, known as robings, which showed endless imagination and variety.
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