Robe à l'Anglaise


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Believed to have been worn as a wedding dress in 1747, this gown displays the exquisite patterning of English dress silks of the period, with delicate flowers and asymmetrical cartouches disposed in a graceful meander across an open ground. The ivory silk faille is brocaded with three types of silver thread, which add rich texture to the lively pattern. Sumptuous textiles such as this one signified wealth and were admired for the brilliant effects of light reflecting off their surfaces. The flat silver strip brocaded at the centers of the flower blossoms creates a coruscating effect, while the crinkled silver frisé of the stems produces a more restrained luster. Gowns of white and silver (both colors symbolizing purity) were fashionable in the mid-1700s among aristocratic and wealthy brides. Although altered in the 1770s, the dress remains a superb example of the lasting appeal of the era’s fine silks.

Robe à l'Anglaise, silk, metal, British

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