Gown and petticoat, Mantua

This is an example of a woman’s formal day ensemble in Britain in the late 1730s. Elbow-length sleeves with a deep pleated cuff characterised the mantua, or gown, during this decade. Looped-up and draped bodice skirts and a pinned-up train are typical features of a mantua. The silk design represents an early example of the new patterns of the 1730s, which emphasised the three-dimensional nature of the forms. The dark, rich colours seen here were popular during the early decades of the 18th century.” - Victoria and Albert Museum