National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Dress Dress
Rendered by Erwin Schwabe (artist), 1935/1942
watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paperboard
overall: 66.7 x 50.9 cm (26 1/4 x 20 1/16 in.)
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Costumes from the Index of American Design
Object 7 of 26

A dramatic change in fashion away from extravagance and formality began to emerge in women's clothes during the last decades of the eighteenth century. Influenced by a resurgent interest in classical culture, owing to the archeological excavations of Pompii and Herculaneum earlier in the century, a neoclassical style of clothing came into vogue. More loosely structured dresses made from lightweight fabrics appeared in the 1770s and remained popular throughout the first two decades of the nineteenth century. Frequently these dresses featured a high-waisted bodice that was gathered and adjusted by means of a drawstring. The example shown here, dated about 1822, consists of a satin underdress and an embroidered gauze or net overdress.

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