Robe à la polonaise, English, 1775-1780. Robe and Polonaise of lustring striped in pale green, cream and two shades of purple, with boning and lined with linen.
A style introduced in the 1770s called a polonaise. Using buttons and loops, the skirt of the gown was draped up to create the swathed effect at the back shown here. Also popular during this decade were a range of striped fabrics, often in a complex arrangement of colours with both sharp and shaded edges, as seen in this example. Draping the skirt was not only a fashionable option. It also served as a practical method of raising the skirt above the dirt and dust on the ground.
Presumed to be Yvonette Moulin de la Racinire, mid 18th C by Francois-Hubert Drouais