woensdag 4 november 2009

robe al la polonaise

Fr: Polish gown. A dress with the skirt hitched up at the sides and in back.

Just to make things difficult for the likes of us, there are two differnet gowns of that name. Actually, there are three, but the third kind belogns to the 19th century.

The first and best known robe à la polonaise came into fashion during the early 1770s. Its most prominent feature is that the robe skirt is hitched up in two places between sides and back. It is often seen with a short (sometimes less than ankle-length) jupe. Both jupe and robe usually had flounces round the hem. The sleeves were elbow-length. The name is said to be derived from the fact that in 1772, Poland was divided into three parts, just as the skirt was.

There are two prominent sub-styles, the robe à la circassienne and the robe à la turque. The skirt of the circassienne was hitched up well above the jupe hem so that it formed three semicircular drapes. As for the turque, there are two styles of that name.

The second, lesser known polonaise appeared late in 1794 or early in 1795. It is a variation of the later robe à la turque. I you feel confused now, what with the turque being a variation of the polonaise and the other way round, you'll understand why it is so difficult to define the major late 18th century robe styles: There was a babylonian confusion of names, changing every half year or so, one being a sub-style of the other, the only difference often being in one little detail.

So, there is a 1770s polonaise that has a variation called robe à la turque, and a 1790s turque that has a variation called robe à la polonaise. The 1770s turque differed from the polonaise by having a train. As for the 1790s turque and polnaise, see robe à la turque.

The polonaise gown first came into fashion in the 1770s. It was a style of gown with a close-fitting bodice and the back of the skirt gathered up into three separate puffed sections to reveal the petticoat below. The method of suspending the fabric varied. Most often the dress had rows of little rings sewn inside the skirt through which a cord ran from hem to waist. Alternatively, ribbon ties would be used, with the ribbons forming decorative bows. However, in some instances the skirt was held in place by simple cords sewn to the inner waist of the dress and looped over buttons attached to the outside waistline. The stays underpinning the bodice of the polonaise were not markedly different from those which supported the robe à la française.,b_1970.87.htm

A polonaise (originally robe à la Polonaise) is a woman's garment of the later 1770s and 1780s or a similar revival style of the 1880s inspired by Polish national costume,[1] consisting of a gown with a fitted bodice and cutaway, draped and poufed overskirt, worn over an underskirt or petticoat.

The eighteenth century polonaise (also referred to as a milkmaid dress) was a conscious imitation of rustic country women's habit of tucking their outer gowns up to keep them out of the muck. The open skirt could be poofed up by tucking the front corners through the pocket slits or, later, by means of tapes and loops sewn into the skirt.
The nineteenth century revival style had lost all connotations of this rustic origin.

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