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Robe à la Française dressed a la Polonaise

English, 18th century | Spitalsfield

Created: 1760-1780
Materials:Silk brocade woven with a field of flowers and leaves trimmed with "fly" fringe

To dress a robe à la Polonaise is to use ribbons or cords to tie the skirt into three poufs. In the last quarter of the 18th century, this style was reportedly created in response to the country of Poland being divided into three kingdoms.

Fly fringe is a form of knotting that developed in the 18th century. This handmade trim consists of tiny silk floss fringes, tufts and miniature tassels. Knotting was a common pastime among privileged women of the 18th century.

Museum Purchase: Auxiliary Costume Fund.
Accession Number: 2009.33.4A-B