Tuesday, April 13, 2010

French Court Dresses…

My descent into the 1780’s is slowly progressing. I have not had time to work on my stays at all. Hopefully I will have some more progress to show you this weekend. Anyway, while researching what I hope to wear on top of my stays, I came across the amazing French Court Dress. Talk about over-the-top decorations, fabrics, and size. I’m thinking I might just have to make one. It probably won’t happen until the summer, but at least I can start planning now. Here are a few pictures that I found in my internet wanderings. God Bless!!!

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This one (above) is my favorite so far. I’m thinking I would change the red accents to green. Mmmm…..

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This one (above) is a close second. I don’t have anything that is pink. It might be a color I will have to try.

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court gown

Here is an extant court gown. It’s a little earlier, but non-the-less resplendent. This one is too over the top for me.

Well, I must be off. My package from Burnley and Trowbridge just arrived. I now have  books and patterns to drool over!

Love Lauren

12 Witty Sentiments:

Amy said...

Ooooohhhh...those pics are great! I really like the first one, too, because it has great contrast. But...then again, I'm kind of a sucker for the pinks and pastel blues -- I kind of like the dresses that make the ladies look "like a piece of cake". Haha...

LadyAugstaFredrika said...

The last one is Sophia Magdalena's (born princess of Denmark, queen of Sweden)cornation robe from 1772 and the photo is taken in her state bedchamber (never used as a bedroom, by the way) at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. Here's http://www.arthermitage.org/II-Lorenz-Pasch/Portrait-of-Queen-Sophie-Magdalene.big.html a portrait of her in that dress (painted by Lorenz Pasch the younger, owned by the State Hermitage Museum of Russia.)

Isis' Wardrobe said...

To add to Lady Augusta's information. That court gown is one of five extant court gowns from the museum Livrustkammaren in Sweden. I've only seen three of them, but they are all this luxurious, but then they were worn by the queens of Sweden when the got married or at the coronation. However, there is quite a lot written about them and their construction. If you are interested I could send you some notes about it. Also, Janet Arnold wrote an article about the one you have pics on, but I haven't read that one, unfortunately.

Koshka/Katerine has made a very nice version of the firt pic, if you haven't seen it yet. :-)

gentlewomanthief said...

Oh wow, how wonderfully OTT!! I love the blue and white one, particularly. I'll be really interested to see your work on this project!

Gloria said...

I love these. I've seen Katherine's version of the first one in person, and the design translates well to reality. http://www.koshka-the-cat.com/costume_college2008/image73.html That's a photo from her website.

Lauren said...

Thanks ladies! I really appreciate the links.

Duchess of Hardgrove said...

One of these dresses has been on my list to do this year too!!! They are all fabulous. Can't wait to see your progress!!!!

The Dreamstress said...

I wonder how many of these ever actually got made and worn? It would be fascinating to see what they looked like IRL. Koshka's version is too...loose (can't find the right word) to me.

The blue one with a pale pink petticoat, and the assymetrical pink one at the bottom are both fabulous. But I already have a totally OTT 1775-80 dress. Can I really excuse another one...

Oh, and fabulous post!

Lauren said...

What a great collection of fashion plates! I am particularly drawn to the colors!

Isis' Wardrobe said...

To answer Dreamstress, (and hoping I don't come across as a horrible know-it-all, but court gowns is a bit of a special interest for me) court gowns was made and worn quite a lot, but not in all courts in Europe. In England they wore the mantua and later French robes for formal occasions. But in the super formal French court they were a must as well as in the Swedish. To be presented at the French court you had to wear a black court gown- imagine to curtsey and then go backwards with those panniers and a train! Though young ladies who really, really couldn't stand the heavily boned bodice, a dispensation to wear a black mantua could be made. Stays wasn't needed for a court gown, every inch was boned and often reinforced with steel. When Gustaf III decided to design his own vresion of court wear, tthe only thing the ladies liked about it was that they no longer needed to wear those extremely rigid bodice and big panniers.

I think that court gowns wandered down the generations too. The bodice hardly changed at all, though the shape of the panniers did. The coronation gown belonging to Sofia Magdalena's mother-in-law a generation earlier has a much boxier shape, but changing a petticoat to fit various pannier shapes isn't that hard.

As to why they aren't any left, well, tehre are the five in Stockholm, but they are the most exclusive ones for very special occasions. And in France I suppose that the French revolution can be blamed for not keeping something so blatantly royal. The petticoats helf a lot of fabric and the bodices must have been very easy to made into stays. There are, however, court bodices preserved here and there without the petticoats.

La Couture Parisienne mentiones the court gowns quite a lot in her article on what she calls the allemande- a kind of gown that only seems to have been worn in northerns Europe.

http://www.marquise.de/en/1700/allemande/index.shtml

Lauren said...

Thanks so much, ladies! Isis, your knowledge is astounding. Thanks for the link and the info. :-D

The Dreamstress said...

Not a know it all at all Isis, a very valuable resource! Thank you so much for sharing your specialised knowledge!

I'm fascinated that they were so heavily boned that you didn't need stays. Very interesting...