Robe à l’Anglaise

The Robe à l’Anglaise or the Close-bodied gown was a women’s fashion of the 18th century. This type of gown came into French fashion (and throughout the world, everywhere except English it calls “à l’Anglaise”) from England and featured a fitted bodice. All this can be seen in the name. From the 1720s to the 1780s, the most popular gown style was with Plis Watteau (these are Robe à la française, Robe Volante, Pet-En-L’air, etc.). At the end of the 1760s, in Britain, Robe à l’Anglaise was formed, the back of which was fitted, tight-fitting and without Panier (frame for the volume of the skirt). The Robe à l’Anglaise sleeves were slightly below the elbow. The petticoat was visible in front. The bodice and corsage could be different: stomacher, waistcoat, échelle, ruffles, or completely covered with a robe.
In the mid-1780s, the Robe à la Polonoise came into vogue, and the Robe à l’Anglaise skirt was also draped at the back, calling it “retroussée”.
In the second half of the 1780s, the fashion for redingote and Chemise a la Reine (The Chemise Dress) came, and Robe à l’Anglaise went out of fashion.
Many real specimens of Robe à l’Anglaise have survived in museums, but in painting it is difficult to find, since women often sit in portraits and it is not clear what is on their backs.

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