Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What is she wearing? Underwear?! (Part 1)

A short while ago I was working on two Chemise dresses so here's a little post on the type of the dress. I'll post up some pictures of my creations in the part two as soon as I can.

I’ve managed to find only one existing example of a Chemise dress on Manchester Art Gallery website, read about it here.

Here some examples of Chemise dresses worn for paintings:

Self portrait with Wife (1791) by Jens Juel
Henriette Begouen (1790) by Alexander Roslin
Madame du Barry (1781) by Louise-Élisabeth Vigée Lebrun
A painting of two women by Pehr Hilleström
Comtesse de Provence (1782) by Louise-Élisabeth Vigée Lebrun
Danish Princess Louise Augusta (1790s) by Jens Juel
Madame de Moreton (1782) by Louise-Élisabeth Vigée Lebrun
Louise Augusta (1780) by Jens Juel
 Duchesse Polignac (1782) by Louise-Élisabeth Vigée Lebrun
The Duchesse de Polignac (1783) by Louise-Élisabeth Vigée Lebrun
Lady Elizabeth Foster (1785) by Angelica Kauffmann
Portrait of a Lady with a Book (1785)by Antoine Vestier
Lady Lemon (1788) by George Romney

And some fashion plates of Chemise dresses:

Chemise dress in 1787

Promenade dress with a green underskirt 1780
Chemise dress 1789
An English Morning dress 1788
French revoulutionary fashion plate: January 1792

The word Chemise refers to underwear because the shift was called chemise in french. The dress is also often called Chemise à la Reine (”in the style of the Queen”) which refers to Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France. She was wearing a plain muslin Chemise dress for a painting in 1783.

A portrait of Marie Antoinette (1783) by Louise-Élisabeth Vigée Lebrun
Here's a fashion plate of Chemise dress to be worn in Petit Trianon:


  1. Min favorit bland avbildningarna är "Portrait of a Lady with a Book (1785) by Antoine Vestier." Själva posen som damen gör är visserligen lite konstig, men klänningen är desto trevligare. Jag ska ha en sådan där randig Chemise, om jag en dag syr mig en.

  2. Oh dear, that 1787 fashion plate is... I don't know. LOL!

    Thanks for this lovely collection, though!

  3. Hello:

    Thanks for your job.
    I make miniature suit and do it in 1:1 is wonderful.