Panniers, stays and jabots

Fashion in the 18th century

MARCH 30, 2012 >  MARCH 3, 2013

The museum displayed a sample of the various fashions that succeeded one another from 1730 until the end of the century, highlighting sumptuous robes à la française or à l’anglaise along with men’s outfits embellished with accessories such as shirts, fans, lace, shawls and hats.

At that time, elegant ladies and gentlemen were clothed in rich brocade, damask or embroidered silk in sparkling colours and patterns. The feminine silhouette was shaped by stays and panniers that varied over time. Men and women wore powdered wigs, especially in France, to which all the courts in Europe turned. In fact, France set the tone in fashion. It would continue to do so for the next two centuries.

Among the outstanding items included in this exhibition were the court dress worn by the Prince de Ligne in fluted and embroidered silk, a sumptuous robe à la française in edged silk satin with a floral pattern of green, yellow and red, a superb robe à la française in plain ivory silk satin and a robe à la française in silk taffeta with brown, orange and ochre strips and sabot sleeves, as well as a little girl’s dress in blue damask silk and a baby’s layette in fine linen.