Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Robe à la Française

Date:
ca. 1770
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk
Credit Line:
Purchase, Irene Lewisohn Bequest, 1961
Accession Number:
C.I.61.34a, b
Not on view
Gowns in the eighteenth century were supported by rounded side hoops of different extension and depth. A wider dress would have been narrower in profile. In the instance of a gown of less width, the depth of the hoops and the robe à la française construction would have consumed as much fabric as the planar version. In both instances, a woman so garbed had to pass sideways through a doorway. This gown has an ingenious drawstring arrangement at the sides that adjusts either to fit over a small pannier, or, when fully released, to accommodate one about four feet across, creating the illusion of a tiny waist.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Eighteenth-Century Woman," January 1, 1981–January 2, 1982.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Bare Witness," April 2, 1996–August 18, 1996.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th century," April 27, 2004–September 6, 2004.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "WILD: Fashion Untamed," December 7, 2004–March 13, 2005.

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