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Lightweight silk and muslin fabrics in white and pastel colors were extremely popular in the early 1800s. The sheer fabric of this dress is made up of gauze weave strips alternating with strips containing a central floral sprig repeat. Fifteen large pink chenille flowers are attached all around the skirt.
By the early 1800s women abandoned the heavy garments of the past and wore gowns modeled after the flowing garments of the ancient Greeks. The dresses were narrow, with short capped sleeves and a high waist line, settling just below the bust. This silhouette became known as the Empire style named after the First French Empire, commonly known as the Napoleonic Empire.
Linda Aimes (Vintage Textiles Guild*); purcahsed by Amy Davidoff, Indianapolis, May 2005; given to Indianapolis Museum of Art, April 2008.