Mantua Court Gowns

18th CenturyKnown as a mantua, the gown consists of a bodice with a train at the back.  A very wide petticoat of matching silk completes the ensemble along with a triangle of silk known as a stomacher, in the centre front.

Although considered stylish day wear in the early 18th century,  the mantua had become very old-fashioned by the 1750s and was worn only for court dress.  Wide hoops were beginning to go out of style, but kept their extreme width at court.  To make up for its conservative cut, court dress was always made from the most fashionable as well as expensive fabrics and trimmings.   (Read More...)