Collection Online

Pelisse and dress
(c. 1818)

cotton (lawn, thread), silk (ribbon), metal (buttons and hook and eye)
(a) 141.0 cm (centre back) 66.0 cm (sleeve length) (pelisse)
(b) 4.8 cm × 4.8 cm (ribbon)
(c) 136.0 cm (centre back) 35.0 cm (waist, flat) (dress)
Place/s of Execution
inside of the proper left back opening, inscribed in ink: Caroline Foster
Accession Number
International Fashion and Textiles
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
The Schofield Collection. Purchased with the assistance of a special grant from the Government of Victoria, 1974
Gallery location
Not on display

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, prevailing neoclassical styles for women determined a fashion for simple white muslin and cotton dresses. At first unadorned, these gowns soon evolved into garments with greater complexity of cut and surface ornamentation, including white on white embroidery.

Worked in cotton thread on a fine cotton lawn, the wheat-sheath design delineating the wrist on the sleeves, and the formalised petals running the length of the pelisse are skilfully worked in a raised satin stitch, probably padded with tiny seeding stitches sewn within the outline of each motif.