Sunday, September 4, 2011

Robe a la Francaise, a la Polonaise!

I've got it! I've got it!

So, I didn't want to get rid of the Francaise back to my gown since it was the first time I had ever made a Robe a la Francaise, and I was damned proud of it at the time, so I was having a bit of trouble figure out how to Burton the dress. I had done a few sketches, but the print on the fabric is sooo dense it made any sort of trimming look weird. I kept going back to the Sleepy Hollow dress I referenced earlier, and then I remembered this painting:

Boucher, "La Toilette" 1742

That painting had always stuck in my mind, but since they ladies in it were in the process of dressing, I wasn't sure if the polonaised Francaise was just because they were getting ready, or if gowns were actually worn in that style. So, I started digging, and I found this:

Robe à la Francaise dressed à la Polonaise


The Mint Museum

Huzzah! An extant example! Then, I found another one!

Kyoto Institute

Robe à la Polonaise

Robe retroussée dans les poches, 1780s.

Justification! So, guess what I'm doing to my gown now?
Also, doesn't that last gown remind you somewhat of the black and white polonaise from the end of Sleepy Hollow? I wonder if it was inspiration for the film gown.


  1. Retrousee dans les poches is a bit different from a polonaised skirt. Instead of ties looping up the skirt, it's just tucked into the pocket slits. The practice was supposedly started by working women who needed to keep their skirts out of their way and then adopted by fashionable ladies. The practice dates to earlier in the 18th century than the polonaise, which didn't come into fashion until the 1770s/80s.

  2. Yeah, I know, but it's close enough to the polonaise style that I feel okay using it as justification to do it to my gown. :)