Friday, February 20, 2009

Grande robe a la francaise

A little gift for all my new blogging friends...another fashion plate.

Fashion Plate #51 (partial image), copyright Ingrid Mida 2009 12x12, Mixed Media

In the second and third quarters of the 18th century, woman's court fashion was characterized by huge skirt with paniers and high coiffures. The robe a la francaise consisted of a tight fitting bodice with a stomacher, exaggerated skirt puffed out by paniers, and a sack back (two large double pleats which hung freely at the back from shoulders to hem).

While one often sees images of Marie Antoinette dressed in this manner, she, in fact disliked the discomfort of wearing a grand corps. The corsets of the French court were much stiffer than those worn in Austria and she decided to stage her own form of corset rebellion (please refer to my posting of October 13, 2008 if you'd like to read more on that).