Monday, March 4, 2013

Grand Ladies of the Reign of Louis XV - 1715 - 1774 ...Fashion abruptly shifted when Louis XIV died. Dresses with panniers (basket-like appendages to the sides) and bodices ending in vee waistlines crossed the Pyrenees into France and came into style. This style remained in use with little change until the 1770s. Change was most noticeable in coiffures that began short in reaction to the commodes and Fontanges headdresses of the Louis XIV era, but began to expand upward in the 1760s to reach towering heights and massive volumes in the 1770s and 1780s. The sideways-expanded skirt reached a grotesque width with court "mantua" dresses in the UK. The French saw two styles of dress, one where the fullness of the skirt swept upwards in back to be gathered at the back of the neckline to form a sack-like garment, the "robe à la française." In the other style, the bodice was attached to the skirt to create the "robe à l'anglaise."