Creating ‘habit à la française’

F.H. Barisien. Peter, Duke of Courland. Ca 1781

The aim of the project was to recreate a set of late 18th century man’s suit from the portrait of Duke of Courland, Peter.

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Executors of the project analysed the portrait mentioned below and described the suit as follows: late 18th century set of man’s suit of coat, waistcoat, breeches, chemise, hat. Coat of dark red/brown velvet is adorned by exquisite embroidery, In the result of detailed analysis of embroidery décor of floral motives and bows could be described as combined technique of tambour stitch and satin stitch of silver and golden thread with appliqué elements of red and green cloth, sewn-on spangles and diamonds (Swarovsky crystals were used on reconstructed suit). Breeches of matching velvet are adorned by

embroidery with similar floral motives.

Waistcoat of cream silk material has matching embroidery and appliqué décor and embroidered buttons.

Recreation process captured in photos can be found below.

Big courage is required to cut out details of costume.


Transforming embroidery design on waistcoat and coat.

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Attaching details of coat.


Hand embroidery process of coat.


Sewing buttonholes of the waistcoat.

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Attaching embroidered buttons of waistcoat


Close views of pocket décor of waistcoat and coat.

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