Olive green satin Redingote
Costume designer: Anonymous
Origin: The Netherlands
Medium: silk satin, chenille, threads
The origins of a Redingote (equestrian's coat - REDINGOTE / RIDING-COAT in French, English) is to be found in the Western fashion and the classical men's wardrobe. In French language, the term came from the English word 'riding-coat', although in England this term was not originally used. Instead of this word they used the words - tail-coat and frock-coat, which actually pointed to the new wardrobe components created in the second half of the 18th century.
So, in the second half of the 18th century, when the background to the events of the The French Revolution had come to various fashion experiments. Also, the redingote variations were ranked in a series of these, quite experimental and innovative clothing components. In the men's wardrobe, it was a coat with a double clasp fastener, an accented waist line, a folded back (i.e., a tailcoat like coat with a back longer than the front) and a wide collar flanges. It was mostly worn by equestrians and travelers. For the first time it appeared around 1725. During the 19th century, it gradually transformed into a townsmen coat, but its origins were related to the military community. [1.]
So, the men's classic wardrobe began to form its shape in the second half of the 18th century, and possibly even a little earlier ... The context of the events of The French Revolution at the very end of the 18th century, however, further entailed another particular tendency. The classical components of menswear gradually came into a women's wardrobe. It was also done with a Redingote or a riding coat.
The redingote set in olive green is a custom made costume suitable for women's wardrobe with a historically distinctive open skirt piece in cutaway and a lightweight skirt underneath, embroidered with lily of the valley pattern. Redingote has large and expressive collar flanges and folds of cuffs that greatly echo the characteristics of military style menswear.
The French fashion of the 1880's was a time of great challenges when experiments and striking details were used as signals of political and social change, and maybe therefore the collar flanges, as well as the open skirts, feature long and expressive buttonholes, which have now become fictitious and are featured just like a details of a decorative embroidery composition. Embroidered flower bouquets are arranged in vertical bands and mark the classic formula of clarity, simplicity and rationality. The composition of the lower skirt embroidery is also striking, which reproduces floral arrangements made according to ancient traditions. Such a floral motives are used to be called 'festons' (in French) or scallops, highlighting a bouquet of flowers that are illusory "raised" at the central part of the hemline.
The expressive and embossed embroidery of the floral - lily of the valley pattern is revealing pinkish shades in the white flower cups... It is like reflection of the Rococo-style, which remained in Europe until the end of the 18th century. I must say that the olive green and mild pink combination was very popular at the end of the 18th century. Although, it was not the usual combination of female redingote, even if it was also more often sewn from the dark woolen cloth according to aesthetics in men's wardrobe. This, particular outfit once has been used as a festive costume, which demonstratively emphasized the marking of a new dividing line - the abandonment of ancient traditions and the acceptance of the new challenges. Just like the floral pattern of lily of the valley, it was a sign of a new spring "blooming" in this outfit.
Share this story & Flip it!
Other Stories In This Section
My name is Edīte Parute and I am a fashion historian and researcher from Latvia, association member at "The Association of Dress Historians" (UK) and author of the book "Stila un modes enciklopēdija"/"Encyclopedia of Style and Fashion" (2010) as well as author of many publications.