Saturday, September 21, 2013

History’s Runway: The Coromandel Coast Gown, 1780

The Victoria & Albert Museum

Just think for a moment. This gown is two-hundred thirty-one years old. An open dress of Indian cotton chintz fabric from 1780 is painted and block-printed with gold spots. The gown has a fitted back with a raised waist seam at the rear of the bodice.

The front of the boned bodice is pointed and closes centrally by a drawstring which passes through the neckline. The half length sleeves are lined with white cotton. The skirt is constructed from three panels of fabric measuring 45 inches selvedge to selvedge. Cotton ties at the back of the bodice would have secured a bustle.

Designed to be worn over a petticoat of silk or matching chintz fabric, this gown was the height of fashion in the Netherlands in the late Eighteenth Century. 

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