watteau back

3

Liberty Aesthetic Movement copper satin tea gown, circa 1897, the waist stay stamped in gold ‘Liberty & Co Ltd Artistic and Historic Costume Studio’, in pseudo medieval style, the satin over-robe with pleated Watteau back and trained skirt, richly embroidered shaped collar, front robings, V-shaped waist belt, detached over-sleeves and closure buttons, worked in copper toned silk cord, studded with facetted amber coloured beads, with tightly gathered ivory chiffon front insert and flounced, gathered sleeves with fitted, beaded chemical lace lower sleeves, yoke and separate detachable choker collar; the inner dress of coral silk with boning at the back bodice only and gathered elasticated tapes over the breasts for comfort

Robe à la française

The displayed robe à la française of white linen with coloured embroidery (woolen threads) was produced in France in 1760s, and now is a part of the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Robes à la française were very popular in the 18th century. At the beginning of the century, they represented an informal version of clothing. By the 1770s, dresses “in the French manner” could already be worn on solemn occasions.

Such a dress was distinguished by a special cut: vertical folds on the back, “Watteau folds” - named later by the name of the French artist, in the paintings of which there often were ladies depicted in such outfits. In front, the dress was swinging, revealing a lower skirt, often sewn from the same fabric and - a richly decorated triangular insert on the corsage.