Newsletter No. 3-07 (Mar. 2007)   Page 2 of 5 / Sidan 2 av 5. [back to page 1] Arcive/Arkiv: [1] [2] [3]


This newsletter is written in order to spread experiences within the topic of historic textiles and reconstructions. Our ambition is to amuse you and stimulate interest in the 18th Century. Durán Textiles, who is mainly working with museum collections and Royal Castles, was founded in 2002 by CEO and production manager Laila Durán, with co-worker artist Torkel Henriksson who is doing the artworks and preparing the designs for production. Our production is done mostly in India supervised by Duran Textiles inspectors. 
- The articles are mainly written by Laila Durán but we also have help from colleagues and specialists from several museums and universities.  In the future this newsletter will be distributed four times a year and is free of charge. We hope you will enjoy our stories and offers and help us to spread the letter to friends and colleagues. Contact:

Detta nyhetsbrev skrivs för att sprida erfarenheter inom ämnet rekonstruktioner av historiska textiler och 1700-talet. Ambitionen är att roa och stimulera intresset. Durán Textiles har varit verksamt sedan 2002 och arbetar med projekt för Kungliga Slott och museisamlingar i hela Skandinavien. Laila Durán är VD och projektledare, Torkel Henriksson arbetar med originalen och alla förlagor för tryck och väv. På plats i Indien, där de flesta av tygerna produceras, finns Durán Textiles egna inspektörer.
- Artiklarna skrivs huvudsakligen av Laila Durán men vi får även hjälp av kollegor och specialister från olika muséer och universitet.  Nyhetsbrevet kommer i fortsättningen att komma ut fyra gånger per år och är helt kostnadsfritt. Vi hoppas ni ska uppskatta våra artiklar och erbjudanden och även sprida informationen vidare till Era vänner. Kontakt:



Robe à l’Anglaise – An English gown

From the printed silk Sippa made by Duran Textiles we decided to make a dress in the style of 1780-ties. It is a so called Robe à l’Anglaise with a petticoat in the same fabric. The bodice of the gown show the characteristic narrow panels in the back and deep pointed centre back. The front have a generous décolletage and is closed with hooks and eyes. The skirts of the gown are open in front and gathered to the waist in small tight pleats. The sleeves are long and narrow. At the wrists there are cuffs in purple taffeta, which is the only decoration of the dress, save from a sash in the same taffeta tied in a bow at the waist. The petticoat is made from straight panels pleated to a waistband. Beneath the petticoat and under petticoats a cul postiche or cul fausse (a false bum) is worn. This is a padded cushion tied to the waist, which makes the skirts stand out in the back. Laces from the shift are visible at the wrists and at the décolletage, and a full boned pair of stays, or corset, gives the body shape and posture. At the neck a silk chiffon neckerchief is worn, and a turban shaped silk hat with plumes finish the wide coiffure.

During the 18th century France was the leading nation in fashion, but during the later half of the century there were many impulses from English fashion. This style was considered as rural and informal, fitting for a life in accordance with nature and the spirit of Rosseau, appropriate for sports like riding and walking. The English gown Robe à l’Anglaise became the counterpart to the formal French gown, the Robe à la Française or sack dress, where the wide back of the gown falls in deep pleats from shoulder to hem, and which was worn with the wide hoop petticoat (in French: pannier) From the 1770-ties the Robe à l’Anglaise and other styles substituted the Robe à la Française as a fashionable gown, but the latter was used long for court wear. In records from the wardrobe of the French queen Marie-Antoinette in 1782, several robes à l’Anglais are mentioned in purple, pink and turquoise silk. The samples attached also show satin stripes reproduced by Durán Textiles AB as Viola stripe.

Fabric samples from the dresses of Marie Antoinette.

The cut of the bodice with the narrow back panels origins from the mantua – a dress with stitched down pleats in the back. The skirt was cut in one piece with the bodice and the shaping of the dress was made by stitching the pleats from the outside to a linen bodice lining. The Robe à l’Anglaise represents another method of shaping the garment. The bodice is cut separate from the skirts and formed by seams made from the inside. The long sleeve is cut with the warp grain, and the stripes, running along the arm, in opposition to the older style, where the sleeves were elbow length and cut with the weft grain and the stripes running around the arm. The cut with the narrow shaped pieces and less width in the skirts accords well with the fashion in the 1780-ties for striped and small patterned fabrics.

Inspired by an English life style and the neoclassic ideal of form, the decoration of the dresses diminished during the 1770-80-ties, in opposition to the rococo abundance of ruffles, lace, puffs and ribbons. When the dresses went simpler spectacular accessories were used, as voluminous fichues or neck kerchiefs, sashes and aprons. Many gowns had masculine details as buttons, cuffs, collars watch chains and walking sticks. Frizzled coiffures were adorned with turbans, plumes and oriental decorations. A number of new styles for dresses were introduced by the printed fashion magazines which begun spread after 1770.They were given fanciful names as robe à la turque, robe à la levantine, robe à la circassienne often referring to opera and theatre or the exotic Orient.

Printed and hand-painted silks were imported from India and China. They were used for both furnishing and clothing. The original for Sippa is a block printed cotton made in Stockholm 1791. The pattern imitates a woven silk with cannelé stripes and small brocaded sprigs and flowers. It is typical for the neo-classic style of the 1780-ties, which is called Gustavian in Sweden and Luis XVI in France. Striped and light-weighted fabrics with small sprinkled flowers substituted the rococo brocades with bouquets of flower and garlands.

The pattern of the fabric, the material, cut construction and decoration coincide in this Robe a l’Anglais to express the late 18th century ideal of style. A fashion of light weight, light coloured fabrics, vertical lines simplicity and elegance. The photos are taken in the English park at the royal castle of Drottningholm outside Stockholm by Laila Durán.

Text by Martin Ciszuk.

The Cut of Women’s Clothes 1600-1930, Norah Waugh
20 000 Years of Fashion, François Boucher
Gazette des atours de Marie-Antoinette, Réunion des musées nationaux – Archives nationales
Eighteenth-Century French Fashions in Full Colour, ed. Stella Blum




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