The classic low, round neckline of the period. Small paniers fit under the skirt of this two-piece gown. The apron is edged in lace, and the sleeves are finished in lacy wide ruffles.
Dress is delicate and pretty for the first time since the Renaissance. The body is forced into a cone shape by a heavily boned corset. The bosom is pushed up to fill out the wide neckline. The waist is pointed in front and back. Now called a panier, the hoop reappears in the shape of a bell. Made by boning the petticoat, within a short time it has many forms, each extending the silhouette at the sides. Sizes vary from a small hip roll to a large, collapsible, wired shape which is three to four feet from hip to hip and twenty inches from front to back. Following the line of the corset, the bodice of the basic gown is slim, tight and long waisted. The neckline is low, round and wide. Sleeves are fitted smoothly into the armhole and end at the elbow; they are finished in a series of circular puffs. Usually the bodice is undecorated. The skirt is cartridge pleated. For the wide panier it has an extended section which is adjusted by a drawstring. The length of the skirt varies; the most common is to the instep. The sack gown appears around 1720. Sometimes called the Watteau gown, it is the first loose and comfortable-looking garment in centuries. Cut like a coat, its fullness is elaborately pleated into a back yoke. It is fitted at the sides. A corset decorated with lace and ribbons shows at the center front opening. Short sleeves are finished in a cuff. A petticoat, often quilted or embroidered, shows at the front opening of the skirt. In a court version of the sack gown, sometimes known as the French robe, the fabric and trim of the petticoat always match the overgown. The robe is deeply pleated in back and open in front. The stomacher is richly decorated. Sleeves are finished with three flounces of circular ruffles, which are widest at the back.
Watteau, Jean-Antoine, 1684-1721 [Painter]
Costume -- Europe -- History -- (LC) Painting -- France -- 18th century -- (YVRC)
costume (mode of fashion) (AAT) paintings (AAT)
Clothing & Accessories Paintings & Drawings
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Related Exhibit or Resource:
Early Georgian: 1700-1750: Dress: Women
Button, Jeanne and Sbarge, Stephen
History of Costume, In Slides, Notes and Commentaries: Volume 4
New York, NY Theatre Arts Slide Presentations 1975
GT513 +B87 4 (LC)
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