Date: 1795–97

Culture: British

Medium: silk, cotton

Credit Line: Gift of Miss Irene Lewisohn, 1937

Accession Number: C.I.37.46.1


The Empire dress owes its name, physical emancipation, popularity, and even its sexiness to France. In this English example, French style is slavishly followed in the gown's high waist and modish stripes. But for all its classicizing details and shape, the gown retains vestiges of the ancien régime in its open-robe construction.