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Robe à la Française

Date:
ca. 1770
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk
Credit Line:
Costume Institute Benefit Fund, 1999
Accession Number:
1999.41a, b
Not on view
Into the dazzling rococo kaleidoscope of 1770s dress, someone had the bold idea to cast an ivory dress. Is this utmost austerity and/or the dress of the wallflower at the party? Or is this dress that special chic that is practiced in disregard of all the mandates and is audacious and attention-getting? The wearer's own secret is the watermelon lining, apparently a textile that has been recycled, a common practice for eighteenth-century linings. One of our newest acquisitions, she (the dress, but surely we know "her") is a wondrous mystery, soliciting our research and imagination.
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