Monday, June 13, 2011


We've reached the period where the Chemise gown comes in.  Though this is by no means a universally taken up style, you can see the echos of gauze, sashes, and collared necklines in other gowns.  Large hats, hair, bums, and bosoms are ripe with comedic possibilities if one takes it too far.

Closure: Closed front most common, some use lacing for closure
Neckline: Very low and open, rounded
Skirt opening: Over 8", almost to sides in some cases, Round gowns coming into vogue
Waistline: Pointed, squared, flat, and curved

Style: English backs and Quarter backs very common
Pleats: Very narrow, some inverted for even smaller look on English backs.
Skirt Pleats: Often less than 1/4", some with cartridge pleats
Shoulder Span: Sleeve corner very high and narrow

Long sleeves in two-part and Elbow length in one-part.

Sleeves:  Most have little or no trim, some with large gathered gauze cuffs
Style: Ribbon, narrow fabric, some contrast fabrics flat with trim edges
Edges: Rolled hem, trimmed, or some pinking
Content: Gauze, self-fabric, and contrast all common

Stripes, solid, and some small prints or brocades.  Cotton chintz prints and cotton sheers popular.

The front line is extremely bowed out. Very full skirt, in back as well as sides.  Bum rolls very common, balanced with puffed kerchiefs.  The polonaise has left, the skirt hem now trains behind slightly.

Vaux-hall, 1785

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