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Doña Felice wears a wide-skirted saya with full-puffed sleeves and expansive back-flared engageantes in this portrait by Juan Carreño. The missing ruff is a simplification that marks the evolution of the saya into the tontillo. The skirt faded from history - or did it? In a set of e-mails, Luis Ortiz Rodriguez from Mexico City has commented that the pannier skirts that were adopted after the period at the start of Louis XV's reign have this shape. The Spanish adopted this shape from guardainfante dress that allegedly masked the early stages of pregnancy. Luis comments, "The real function of this garment was to show the rank of the users" because they were expensive. But the church still did not approve of the original guardainfante dresses because of the alleged immoral use. The guardainfante turned into a tastefully lavish form of dress, the saya and derived sayas like this one. The guardainfante was unwieldy so it was simplified into the “tontillo.” In the 1720s the Bourbons-Borbóns were on both sides of the Pyrenees so the tontillo dress could diffuse northwards and be adopted as "French" style. Some Spanish Ladies went to France where the Ladies did pick up the style. The basket-like skirt supports were named “baskets” (“panniers”), the term that stuck. As a result, the "French" style of Louis XV's reign should be called "Franco-Spanish."
Her saya has slashed sleeves, but the slashing has been reduced to some vestigial straps maybe 7 cm wide.
Keywords: 1677, Carreño de Miranda, Felice de Cerda, Marquise, Spanish, long curly coiffure, floralheaddress, jeweled floral headdress, straight neckline, bertha, lace, long puffed sleeves, slashed sleeves, back-flared engageantes, vee waistline, full skirt, tontillo, brooch, jeweled bodice ornament, bracelets, fan, handkerchief
Jun 15, 2011, 2:34 PM
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