1770's Polonaise - Janet Arnold
This prostitutes dress would have originally belonged to a Lady of class and wealth. This gown would originally have been owned by a lady of high class and wealth but has then been passed down through a sequence of owners, each poorer and less fussy over the condition of their dress. It has finally become the property of the mistress of a brothel to then be loaned to one of her brothel girls. Originally bright and fresh in colour, the dress over time has ripped and stained, each wearer passing it down to someone poorer and less fussy over the condition of their attire.
The gown is entirely hand sewn and altered from an original Janet Arnold pattern to fit the wearer. Each panel of the bodice is mounted and boned just as it would have been made 300 years ago.
Underneath the dress, stays are worn which are stained with dirt and sweat (brown silk dye and beeswax)
Her dress is discoloured and dirty from hours spent on the streets and minimal washing. The discolouration of the yellow waterfall silk is a watered down brown silk dye, applied with a sponge to the saturated dress. The sleeves of her dress have caught and torn and the appliqued detail on the front of the Polonaise has damaged and hangs lose because she does not have the knowledge or skills to fix it.
1770's Polonaise Prostitutes Dress