Dress (robe à la française)
A typical 18th century women’s dress, “robe à la française”. The colour has a golden shine, resonating with the glossy brilliance of the crisp silk. In early Christian culture, yellow was seen as the colour of heretics, and held in contempt until medieval times. In China, yellow was the colour of the Emperor, a colour so noble that commoners were forbidden its use. The 18th century vogue for “chinoiserie” amongst Europeans resulted in new interest in yellow, leading it to become a fashionable colour. As shown on this dress, a fichu (triangular shawl) was draped over the shoulders, loosely covering the open area, and was inserted under the stomacher.