White gown made of satin and gauze, with embellishments of lace and fabric flowers.
A replica of the style of gown worn in the late 1700's and early 1800's, known as the 'Empire line' style of clothing. This dress is a replica of a dress from 1817, Plate 4, Rudolph Ackermann's The Repository of Arts, Literature, Fashions, Manufactures &c.
Dress made from modern synthetic equivalents of the original fabrics. The 'blond' lace at the neckline is antique, and the pink flowers are at least 50 years old, tinted to mimic the original dress. The flowers are recycled from a hat, purchased from an opportunity shop.
Machine sewing was used for the unseen construction. Handwork was used for all visible stitching.
Empire silhouette, Empire line, Empire waist or just Empire is a style in clothing in which the dress has a fitted bodice ending just below the bust, giving a high-waisted appearance, and a gathered skirt which is long and loosely fitting but skims the body rather than being supported by voluminous petticoats.
While the style goes back to the late 18th century, the term "Empire silhouette" arose over a century later in early 20th-century Britain; here the word empire refers to the period of the First French Empire (1804–1815); Napoleon's first Empress Josephine de Beauharnais was influential in popularizing the style around Europe.
These style of dresses, worn during the Regency era, are seen in films from the novels by English author Jane Austen, such as 'Emma', 'Sense and Sensibility' and 'Pride and Prejudice', and in the television series 'Bridgerton', from the novels by Julia Quinn.
date: Late 18th / Early 19th century replica
Manufacturer: Amanda Dickie 2012, for a Tauranga Art Gallery exhibition ' A La Mode' https://www.artgallery.org.nz/-la-mode
subject area: Social Science, Technology, The Arts
specific themes: Fashion, Costume, Sewing, Women, English, Literature, Jane Austen, Regency era
handling collection number: HC147