OVERVIEW

Womenswear

Wikipedia writes:

“European countries and North America was characterized by greater abundance, elaboration and intricacy in clothing designs, loved by the Rococo artistic trends of the period. The French and English styles of fashion were very different from one another. French style was defined by elaborate court dress, colourful and rich in decoration.”

“Women’s clothing styles retained the emphasis on a narrow, inverted conical torso, achieved with boned stays, above full skirts. Hoop skirts continued to be worn, reaching their largest size in the 1750s, and were sometimes replaced by side-hoops, also called ‘false hips’, or panniers. Court dress had little or no physical comfort with restriction of movement. Full size hoops skirts prevented sitting and reminded those wearing them to stand in the presence of the King. Stays forced a proper standing posture. Garments like these could not be washed often because of the fabrics from which they were made. The Enlightenment produced a backlash against sumptuary laws which asserted a stagnant social hierarchy. During the Enlightenment, court dress stayed almost the same while outside of court dress, fashion became less extravagant and shifted more towards comfort rather than courtly display.”

gown (robe à la française): robe and petticoat

Fig. 1 - Designer unknown (France or Holland). gown (robe à la française): robe and petticoat, 1765-1770. Textile: blue and white brocade weave silk (paduasoy?); bleached plain weave linen lining; silk knotted fringe. Five Colleges and Historic Deerfield Museum Consortium, HD F.355. Mr. Henry N. Flynt. Source: Five Colleges and Historic Deerfield Museum Consortium

Woman's Dress (Robe à la française) with Attached Stomacher

Fig. 2 - Designer unknown (French). Woman's Dress (Robe à la française) with Attached Stomacher, c. 1760-1770. Silk taffeta with woven ribs and supplementary weft flosses, silk looped fringe; center back length: 147.3 cm, waist: 73.7 cm (center back length: 58 inches, waist: 29 inches). Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1981-9-1. Purchased with the Marie Kimball Fund and with the Edgar Viguers Seeler Fund, 1981. Source: Philadelphia Museum of Art

Robe à la Française

Fig. 3 - Designer unknown (British). Robe à la Française, 1760. Silk. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 48.187.709a, b. Bequest of Catherine D. Wentworth, 1948. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Robe à la française

Fig. 4 - Designer unknown (European). Robe à la française, 1765. Silk. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2001.472a, b. Purchase, Irene Lewisohn Bequest, 2001. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dress (robe à la française)

Fig. 5 - Designer unknown (French). Dress (robe à la française), ca. 1765. Silk satin brocade, silk fly fringe, linen. San Francisco: de Young Museum, 55018. Gift of Mrs. Chauncey Olcott. Source: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (de Young Museum)

Mrs. Samuel Cutts

Fig. 6 - Joseph Blackburn (English, 1730 - 1765). Mrs. Samuel Cutts, 1762-1763. Oil on canvas; 127.6 x 102.9 cm (50 1/4 x 40 1/2 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1979.196.2. Bequest of Clarence Dillon, 1979. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Menswear

Wikipedia writes:

“Throughout the period, men continued to wear the coat, waistcoat and breeches of the previous period. However, changes were seen in both the fabric used as well as the cut of these garments. More attention was paid to individual pieces of the suit, and each element underwent stylistic changes. Under new enthusiasms for outdoor sports and country pursuits, the elaborately embroidered silks and velvets characteristic of “full dress” or formal attire earlier in the century gradually gave way to carefully tailored woolen “undress” garments for all occasions except the most formal. This more casual style reflected the dominating image of “nonchalance.” The goal was to look as fashionable as possible with seemingly little effort. This was to be the new, predominant mindset of fashion.”

Louis XV of France (1710-1774)

Fig. 1 - Carle van Loo (tidl. tilskrevet) 1705 - 1765 Louis Michel van Loo (værksted) 1707 - 1771 (French). Louis XV of France (1710-1774), 1765. Oil on canvas; 281.5 x 170 cm. Copenhagen: National Gallery of Denmark, KMS1148. Modtaget, Frederiksborg - 1882. Source: National Gallery of Denmark

Riding Coat

Fig. 2 - Designer unknown (British). Riding Coat, 1760. Silk and goat hair. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1976.147.1. Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Alan S. Davis Gift, 1976. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Leopold Mozart

Fig. 3 - Pietro Antonio Lorenzoni (Italian, 1721–1782). Leopold Mozart, c. 1765. Oil on canvas. Salzburg: Mozart Museum, not available. Source: Wikipedia

Joseph Sherburne

Fig. 4 - John Singleton Copley (American, 1738 - 1815). Joseph Sherburne, 1767-1770. Oil on canvas; 127 x 101.6 cm (50 x 40 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 23.143. Amelia B. Lazarus Fund, 1923. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Suit

Fig. 5 - Designer unknown (British). Suit, 1760. Wool, gilt metal. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996.117a–c. Purchase, Irene Lewisohn Bequest and Polaire Weissman Fund, 1996. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

CHILDREN’S WEAR

Dancing children

Fig. 1 - Lorens Pasch the Younger (Swedish, 1733-1805). Dancing children, 1760. Oil on canvas. Stockholm, Sweden: National Museum of Fine Arts, NM 2253. Source: Wikimedia Commons

James Badger

Fig. 2 - Joseph Badger (American, 1708 - 1765). James Badger, 1760. Oil on canvas; 108 x 84.1 cm (42 1/2 x 33 1/8 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 29.85. Rogers Fund, 1929. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Boy with a Black Spaniel

Fig. 3 - Francois Hubert Drouais (1727-1775). Boy with a Black Spaniel, 1766. Oil on canvas; 64.5 x 53.3 cm (25 3/8 x 21 in). The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

George Capel, Viscount Malden, and Lady Elizabeth Capel

Fig. 4 - Sir Joshua Reynolds (British, 1723-1792). George Capel, Viscount Malden, and Lady Elizabeth Capel, 1768. Oil on canvas; 181.6 x 145.4 cm (71 1/2 x 57 1/4 in). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 48.181. Gift of Henry S. Morgan, 1948. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

References:

Historical Context

Wikipedia: 1760-1769
Rulers:

Map of Europe in 1760. Source: mapsys.info

Events:
  • 1760 – George III becomes King of Great Britain.
  • 1763 – Treaty of Paris is signed.
  • 1764 – The “Spinning Jenny,” a machine using multiple spindles for spinning yarn, is invented by James Hargreaves.
  • 1765 – The caraco emerges as a women’s jacket style in the 1760s.
  • 1765 – American Revolution begins.

Primary/Period Sources

Resources for Fashion History Research

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Etiquette Books (Digitized)

Secondary Sources

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