Overdress of a robe à la française - ROM2009_10909_20

ROM2009_10909_20

Overdress of a robe à la française

Medium:Silk extended tabby (gros de Tours) with liseré self-patterning and brocading in silver lamella and filé
Geography: Spitalfields (London), England
Date: 1750s
Period: Georgian Rococo
Object number: 973.399.A-C
Credit Line: Gift of the Fashion Group Inc. of Toronto in memory of Gwen Cowley
Not on view
DescriptionIn contrast to the full-blown naturalistic style of the 1730s, mid-18th-century Rococo silks are characterized by delicate floral meanders. The design features peonies and pomegranates brocaded in silver threads, which are intrinsically less naturalistic. The back of this formal sacque gown is made of three full widths of silk seamed together, then draped into pleats, stitched to the lining at the back and released to display the bold pattern. The limited cutting of the fabric served to protect the consumer's investment in the costly silk yardage that was often later reused or sold. The silk is brocaded in three types of silver thread – a silver lamella (a smooth strip of metal) and two kinds of silver filé (a smooth thread composed of a strip of metal wound around a silk core).
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