Robe à la française
Medium: Ivory silk brocade, lace, passementerie
Credit: Museum purchase
This dress conveys the opulence and ostentation that were an integral part of 18th-century court dress. The complex silk brocade features a striped ribbed ground depicting feathers and flowers tied in bouquets by a meandering leopard print ribbon; the subtle presence of the leopard print bespeaks the high regard for exoticism in rococo culture. Elaborate passementerie trim and bows decorate the gown, generating an overindulgence of frills on the bodice, overgown, and underskirt. These sumptuous layers of luxury boast of an aesthetic perfection that was a direct reflection of one's social position in 18th-century culture.
Object Number: P82.27.1