18th Century Clothes

Camargo Dress, 1740
Dress, 1788

I have made many costumes for this lovely and elegant period, including one based on a painting of Mme. de Pompadour in the Louvre. Glenn Close, in Dangerous Liasons, wears a similar dress made by one of my colleagues. I have also recently copied the Wallace Collection painting of Mme de Pompadour for their Education Department.

Making costumes for historical dancers gives me the chance to create sumptuous court and theatre dresses, many of which can be seen being worn by the Covent Garden Minuet Company in the dramatised documentary Marie Antoinette which is regularly shown on the History Channel, and on their web site.

There are also many opportunities for me to indulge in one of my interests in this period. I enjoy hand embroidery and many of the beautiful decorations on real 18th century clothes can be copied.

I was recently asked to work on an 18th century project for the Museum of London. This was a petticoat and hoop for their small mantua which went on exhibition in at the Palais Galliera in Paris in 2005.

The dress above is based on a painting of a famous dancer, Mademoiselle Camargo by Nicholas Lancret.

The dress to the left is similar to one in the Museum of London. Several of my dresses, including this one, have been displayed at Finchcocks, the musical instrument museum, at various times.

Mme. de Pompadour
Little Mantua at Museum of London