1799-1800 Empire dress. The radically different silhouette of the last years of the eighteenth century was intended as an imitation of classical Greek and Roman dress. Basically, a soft, thin chemise of cotton or linen that almost fully revealed the breasts, the Empire gown was not universally embraced.
During the Regency era there were any number of ways to embellish a gown, from printing or painting directly on the fabric, to adding lace and other accents, or even embroidery. One method of embroidery, Tambour Work, was especially popular for it’s ease of application. Tambour is French for drum, and refers to the method of creating the embroidery. | Jane Austen Centre (Tambour-embroidered ecru cotton gauze wedding dress, 1817)
Dress, 1805-1810, At the beginning of the nineteenth century, whitework became the favored embellishment for fashionable Grecian-style gowns, the latest fashion, with low necks and high waists. The neo-classical design at the skirt's center front echoes the delicate swags on embroidered pictures, while the sheer gauze fabric (which required a solid color underdress to avoid indecent exposure) recalls the floating train on the Egyptian princess's dress in Ruth Green Barber's Moses picture.