Greek-Roman Empire Dress

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The Empire style dress originated in the years 1800-1815 and was apart of Neoclassical fashion. The Europeans were inspired by Greco-Roman art, which reflected in their fashions of loose fitting rectangular (column like) tunics called chitons by the Greeks, with a empire waist. The idea of the under the bust waist came from the ancient greeks wearing their peplos and belted directly under the bust, which had a dual purpose of providing comfort and support for the chest. Ladies of the empire period adopted the empire dress style to escape the discomfort of the confining styles in the 17th century. The simple new style of dress was a relief the elaborate, voluminous gowns in past centuries. From 1799-1815 the gown was named after its century…show more content…
Some gowns had long trains that could be pinned up, sleeves were full,puffed and either to elbow or wrist length. Gathers were located at the centre back bodice to create the greek column look and resemble a greek goddess, in the early 1790s the the empire dress began as a chemise shift, which had small gathers under the neck and neck. Small intricate decorations like a embroidered flower or woven in design, or the net over lay with embroidered chenille. Shawls and sleeve cuffs were delicately embroidered with light greek key patterns and shapes. Muslin was the most common fabric to be found in the early 18th century, but is very different from the fabric we know as muslin much lighter and sheer. Sheer cotton fabrics such as muslin, gauze, and percale were the most popular English gown materials, raw muslin was shipped from india as well as america the most important element to any of the fabrics was that it had the beautiful grecian drape…show more content…
The way to perfectly achieve this look does involve a small corset ending directly below the bust to create the foundation of the silhouette. The small boned corset would flatten the chest and follow the natural curves of the body, for those who needed more support a longer corset was available to flatten hips and stomach. The bustle was also still used in the empire period, it was a very small pillow/pad 1-2” wide and 6” long to ensure that the skirt would stay in place. The empire style was a very elegant and simple look but there was many accessories to be had and to style with, gloves, reticules and shawls were most popular. Tall, white,leather gloves that covered the fore arm were often worn with the empire dress as well a reticule which is a small cloth purse to hang off the wrist. Parasols were beautifully and delicately decorated and made with silk to protect from the sun mostly used as a fashionable accessory. The shoes that were worn with the gown were often simple and flat, often with white satin ribbons. Louis Hippolte Leroy was a french couturier made many creations for Napoleon as well as the cashmere shawl. A extremely popular piece because of cold winters and thin dresses that exposed more skin then past centuries. They often had a indian inspired paisley patten and came in a rectangular
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