Robe a la Française, France, 1760-70
Metropolitan Museum of Art
For Crystizzle, who requested more Georgian/Regency fashion, this is one of my personal favourite Georgian dresses. The bows down the front of the gown’s stomacher are typical of Rococo dress, though without the frou-frou and frippery that can make some Georgian dresses more humorous than attractive. The loosely fitted saque dress that came before the robe a la Française was originally conceived to show off beautiful and expensive textiles - most commonly silk - and the box pleats in the back of this dress fulfil the same purpose, displaying a wealth in a lovely floral-patterned teal silk. The robe a la Française is probably the most well-known of Georgian dresses, compared to the robe a l’Anglaise and the robe a la Polonaise. Despite the loose drape in the back, the front is wonderfully fitted, thanks to a rigid stomacher and a corset.
This example is particularly striking, because the stomacher and underskirt are both still intact and together with the robe, unlike many examples of Georgian dress.