The dress closely fits the body by means of a narrow cloth bodice around the breasts and the back. The loose line of the dress, with a high waist, is in accordance with the Empire fashions diffused across Europe by the Journal des Dames et des Modes. The skirt's hem is decorated with tulle garlands edged with ruffled ribbon, onto which lay contoured fabric oak leaves. The lustrous, naturally hued, silk, plays a leading role in this dress, exemplifying Napoleon's consumption relaunch of this fabric, to support French silk manufactures, following the craze for cottons, linens and light wools imported from abroad.


  • Title: Empire dress
  • Date Created: 1810/1815
  • Location Created: France
  • Provenance: Dono Ugo Rey, 1936, inv. 1223/T
  • Type: Dress
  • Medium: Silk gauze, silk tulle, debossed silk satin, linen cloth

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