|Infanta Maria Josefa de Borbon by Giusseppe Bonito, 1758-59. This is a Robe de Cour with a single skirt, back0lacing bodice, and 3/4 sleeves with flounces.|
In the "Outlander" books, Diana Gabaldon dresses Claire in a bold red court gown with an extremely low neckline. In the TV show, this dress was designed by Claire herself, merging her 20th century aesthetic with 18th century styles to create a unique creation that stood out from everything else at Versailles. I thought Terry Dresbach, costume designer for Outlander, did this fabulously (along with all of Claire's other Paris costumes inspired by Dior and Balenciaga).
The plan is to make our dress pattern do-able in all colors - red, pink, yellow, teal - and not too-specific, so that sewists can decorate (or not) to their heart's content to emulate their favorite characters. Cosplay aside, the pattern will still be primarily drafted from original 18th century gowns. Made in metallic brocade with stacked lace on the sleeves, this pattern will make up into a gorgeous robe de cour too.
So we're starting with original references (as always). Here's what I'm thinking:
|Jean-Marc Nattier (artist)|
|Duchess Maria Anna Josepha of Bavaria - this Robe de Cour has the 3/4 sleeves with flounces too, different from the tiered ruffle sleeves on many.|
|Marie Antoinette in court dress - fashion plate - this is from the 1770s, but you can see how this style of gown is quite "fossilized."|
|Infanta D. Barbara de Portugal, Princesa da Beira e Rainha da Espanha (1711 - 1758)|
The Robe de Cour was a back-lacing, fully-boned bodice worn with a separate skirt over a broad foundation. Sometimes the ensemble had a separate train attached.
|Queen Sofia Magdalena's wedding gown - bodice interior photo and drawing, researching by Janet Arnold. Scanned image from Isis' wardrobe.|
|Extant robe de cour of Sofia Magdalena of Sweden, 1766. The fluffy sleeves are still in tact on this one, and you can see the tabs at the waist.|
Excited? Me too! Now I have *a lot* of work to do to get this all done by October, but I plan to share the progress along the way. Stay tuned!