1. Maria Theresa of Austria was painted wearing “Oriental” costume for a masquerade in 1744 by Martin van Meytens.

    Maria Theresa of Austria was painted wearing “Oriental” costume for a masquerade in 1744 by Martin van Meytens.

  2. Turkish inspired costumes for women became very popular for masquerades in the second quarter of the 18th century.
This woman in Turkish costume was painted holding a traditional black Venetian mask by Rosalba Carriera between 1728 and 1741.

    Turkish inspired costumes for women became very popular for masquerades in the second quarter of the 18th century.

    This woman in Turkish costume was painted holding a traditional black Venetian mask by Rosalba Carriera between 1728 and 1741.

  3. Masquerades continued to grow in popularity during the early 18th century. The wearing of full costumes became more common as did the practice of staying in character throughout the event.
This painting by Giuseppe Grisoni depict a masquerade held at the King’s Theatre on Haymarket Street in London in 1724.

    Masquerades continued to grow in popularity during the early 18th century. The wearing of full costumes became more common as did the practice of staying in character throughout the event.

    This painting by Giuseppe Grisoni depict a masquerade held at the King’s Theatre on Haymarket Street in London in 1724.

  4. A summery printed cotton afternoon gown and matching petticoat dating to circa 1785. Also note her very large fan, which although already a fashion necessity by the 1700s, would have had a far more practical use in the summer months.

    A summery printed cotton afternoon gown and matching petticoat dating to circa 1785. Also note her very large fan, which although already a fashion necessity by the 1700s, would have had a far more practical use in the summer months.

  5. An absolutely gorgeous bergère straw hat decorated in colored straw flowers, dates to the 1760s.

    An absolutely gorgeous bergère straw hat decorated in colored straw flowers, dates to the 1760s.

  6. The modesty required by mid-18th century fashion did not allow for much skin to be exposed no matter how hot the weather. To get around this, and assure women didn’t drop like flies from heat stroke, summer gowns were made from cotton or linen, which was lighter and far more breathable than the heavy silk damasks usually used.
This robe à la française, dating to circa 1760 and made of slightly earlier material, is made of a plain weave linen and embroidered with colorful flowers in wool. (Yes, the flowers are all embroidered, not printed!)
The ensemble is completed with a flat straw hat known as a bergère which served as a sort of wearable parasol and allowed 18th century women to maintain their fashion-mandated pale complexion while keeping their hands free.

    The modesty required by mid-18th century fashion did not allow for much skin to be exposed no matter how hot the weather. To get around this, and assure women didn’t drop like flies from heat stroke, summer gowns were made from cotton or linen, which was lighter and far more breathable than the heavy silk damasks usually used.

    This robe à la française, dating to circa 1760 and made of slightly earlier material, is made of a plain weave linen and embroidered with colorful flowers in wool. (Yes, the flowers are all embroidered, not printed!)

    The ensemble is completed with a flat straw hat known as a bergère which served as a sort of wearable parasol and allowed 18th century women to maintain their fashion-mandated pale complexion while keeping their hands free.

  7. An amazing striped French robe a l’anglaise made between 1785 and 1787.

    An amazing striped French robe a l’anglaise made between 1785 and 1787.

  8. Bold stripes were very much in vogue throughout the 1780s. This circa 1780 French robe retroussée also has a striped lining which can be seen due to the bustle-like style of the gown.

    Bold stripes were very much in vogue throughout the 1780s. This circa 1780 French robe retroussée also has a striped lining which can be seen due to the bustle-like style of the gown.

  9. By the 1780s floral decoration and stripes became two distinct styles which allowed for very striking striped gowns like this early 1780s robe à la française.

    By the 1780s floral decoration and stripes became two distinct styles which allowed for very striking striped gowns like this early 1780s robe à la française.

  10. The fashion-free-for-all that was the 1770s mixed stripes, florals, bows, ruffles and pretty much whatever else you felt like throwing in.

    The fashion-free-for-all that was the 1770s mixed stripes, florals, bows, ruffles and pretty much whatever else you felt like throwing in.