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The object that I choose from Victoria and Albert Museum(V&A) is a gown in British Gallery made from silk by British freelance textile designer Anna Maria Garthwaite (1690-1763). This essay will explore the description, history, status and the designer of the gown.


According to the V&A website, the origin area of the gown is Spitalfields in London. The gown was made in 1740s and altered in the 1780s. Initially, the gown was possibly a sack back, with free box plaits at the back to contain upper limit exhibit of the silk decoration. The gown should have been open down the front, with folded-back appareling and quartering at the end of sleeves at both sides cubitus. The final transformation in the 1780s to the kind of that period was greatly woodenly completed, advising that probably the gown had been succeed to a servant girl (V&A Search the Collection 2018, gown).

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The style is stitches in colorful silks on oyster-colored satin with botanical embroideries. Among the recognizable flowers are roses, morning glory, auricular, bright pink berries and rose buds. The stems and leaves are in a variety of greens color, and the flowers are shaded naturalistically by the braiding skills (V&A Search the Collection 2018, gown).


According to the object description from V&A museum, the history of Spitalfields silk is between 1710-1770, stylish men and women during that period liked to show off their fashion insight in the various kinds of fine fabrics that they chose for the formal garments. Until the late 17th century almost all the silks had to be introduced. Then a silk-weaving industry exploited in England, focus on Spitalfields in London. It progressed cumulatively prosperous between 1700 and 1770. Huguenot, displaced persons from sectarian oppression in France, played a significant role in its elaboration, providing professional and trade accomplishments.


Spitafields weavers produced ordinary and figured fabrics, with updated styles every three months. Dress silks were always woven in finite lengths to maintain their rarity. The styles were effected by French fashions but advance in a unique English style distinguished by naturalism and lucidity in both styles and hue.


To turn to the status of the gown, the perspective that dress demonstrated social hierarchy was a solid platitude of the eighteenth century. The dominators of the state and the English society were a narrow community of imperial household, of elder and advanced production, who commanded politics domestically and in consulates overseas. Their right and riches came from their great amount of property and the receipts from them, but they also collected treasure from other origins by distant control. They were a particular group, but sometimes their hierarchy exposed, especially forced by political priority, to acknowledge revenue gained in the careers, trade and investment, and then shut down again. At the late period of the century, the number of members was nearly twice more than the start (Buck 1979, p.13).


The court circle, with its residences and periodic seasons in London, its presence at court, its treasure and right, was at the core of stylish community. But the trendy clothes were accessible to all who had the capital and chance to purchase them and who lived the life to reveal them. The nobility dominated their own fields, full-dress reactions as prominent as those of the court (Buck 1979, p.25).


Wealth prefer to show off the texture of the dresses, the abundance of the silks, their detailed woven patterns or complicated accessories, delicate lace and precious jewels. Rich embroidery all over gown and petticoat cold be valuable as work in gold and silver. Gown covered by rich embroidery and petticoat could be as expensive as work in gold and silver (Buck 1979, p.15).


Therefore, the gown was probably produced to the wealthier gentry, people who have fashion conscious and have ability to afford them, because the gown is full dress made from silk with intricate botanical patterns design.

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