The 1760s mark the last decade during which the robe à la française dominated women’s wardrobes since it was first introduced in the 1720s. In the last three decades of the eighteenth century, other, more informal styles became fashionable for daywear and the robe à la française was increasingly worn for evening. For men, the distinction between the subdued informality of Englishmen’s dress and the colorful formality of Continental styles (particularly those of France and Italy) remained pronounced, although this would change in the following decades in favor of the former. The narrowing of the coat that began around 1750 continued in this decade and a low standing collar that would increase in height until the end of the century appeared in the middle years.
The black fabric that tones down Doña Maria Tomasa Durán López de Cárdenas’ extravagant dress, along with the religious subtext of her portrait, demonstrate the subtle differences that the fashions of New Spain had with those of Europe.
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