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In the early 1920s, the emergence of a curvaceous evening dress called the robe de style offered women an alternative to the boyish, straight-lined silhouette most associated with this decade. Also known as the “picture dress,” this style harked back to an idealized past with its retention of a Romantic silhouette reminiscent of eighteenth-century fashions. Jeanne Lanvin, the French couture designer often credited for introducing this style, reinterpreted panniers, the skirt supports women wore in the previous centuries, to exaggerate the hips. With such a full skirt, the robe de style presented designers with a canvas for vibrant colors, embroidery, and ornamentation. While the creator of this piece is unknown, it is likely French.





Silk, velvet, metallic thread


18 inches (length - neck to waist), 25 inches (length - skirt), 33 inches (bust), 29 inches (waist), 14 inches (shoulder)

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Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Campbell Lloyd Stirling

Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


This digital image is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.