1780 Robe Retroussee – My Tribute to Avi

I have always been in love with this 1780s French gown from the Met, one for being a gorgeous gown, but because of the way the photograph was styled with the little dog mannequin:

The Met, 1780

To me, the little greyhound-like dog mannequin has always represented Avi, my dearest companion who passed away this time last year.  I had always intended to make this dress and take pictures with Avi, but never got around to it, though Avi participated in many costumed photo shoots over the years.

Avi and I posed together a lot in photo shoots for American Duchess. She would sit herself in the center of the backdrop and refuse to move, so we just went with it. 🙂

When I was in LA last week, I found this embroidered silk taffeta and instantly thought of the picture from The Met, and this gown. The fabric was a bit of a splurge for me, but I knew I had to have it, and that even though I’ll never be able to take the picture with Avi, it will remind me of her every time I wear the dress.  So I bought the fabric.

It’s not a match, but it reminded me of the 1780 dress fabric, so I couldn’t pass it up.

Luckily the Met has a lot of pictures of this gown, and I want to be true to the design. I’m hoping to have it done for a trip to Williamsburg in June – I better get stitching!

You can see more angles, and larger images at http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/84611


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