Artist/maker unknown, French
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This extravagantly embroidered coat, originally part of a formal suit, represents a last flurry of late eighteenth-century gorgeousness that ran counter to the general trend toward simplicity in menswear. Against a fashionable striped silk, overblown tulips and other flowers gambol, edged by applied white net embroidered to imitate lace. The decoration, which enhances the shape of the pattern pieces, would have been drawn on the textile and then professionally embroidered before the garment was cut out and assembled.