Women's fashions of the second half of the 18th century displayed a wide silhouette as panniers (side hoops) held the skirt out at the hips while stays (corset) created a narrow waistline. The dress was usually called a robe; while the skirt was called a petticoat.
A robe à la Française, or sack-back gown, combined a taut bodice with folds of fabric that extended from the back neckline down to the hem of the gown. This gown may have arrived in the American colonies as a ready-made fashion or perhaps lengths of the silk brocade had been imported from Spitalsfield, England. Spitalsfield was the manufacturing site for numerous floral silks, silk brocades and damasks.
Place object was created: Great Britain
silk damask, silk thread, hand-made lace, silk brocadeMuseum Purchase with funds from the Estate of Bettie Ferrell 2010.81a-b
Not currently on view