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Robe a la Française dressed a la Polonaise

Created: circa 1750-1775

Accession Number: 2009.33.4A-B

The fashionable vogue of wearing a robe a la française dressed a la Polonaise displays the overskirt of the dress tied at the sides using interior cords and/or ribbons or buttons to form three large poufs. This style was reportedly in response to the 1772 division of Poland into three kingdoms and is called robe à la Polonaise. English Spitalfields silk brocade is worked in a rose-tone with cream stripes with floral motifs scattered across the ground. Colorful small flowers and white blossoms ornament the design of the fabric. This sumptuous floral patterned silk dress has been trimmed with white fly fringe. Fly fringe is a form of knotting that developed in the eighteenth century which consists of tiny silk floss fringes, tufts, and miniature tassels. Knotting was a common pastime among privileged women of the eighteenth century.