1775 Maja Costume

Read The Dress Diary

The Concept

A recreation of the painting Marquesa de Llano by Mengs, c. 1775.  An attempt to make as exact, and historically accurate, recreation as I can — which also includes these related projects:

The Fabric & Trim

Barely off-white silk taffeta, black silk taffeta, lined in linen.  Trimmed with spangle embroidery.

The Pattern

Draped by me.

Useful Links


  • Marsh, Gail. 18th Century Embroidery Techniques. Lewes: Guild of Master Craftsman, 2006.
  • Noyes, Dorothy. “La Maja Vestida: Dress as Resistance to Enlightenment in Late-18th-Century Madrid.” Journal of American Folklore 111:440 (1998): 197-217.
  • Ribeiro, Aileen. Dress in Eighteenth-Century Europe, 1715-1789. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.
  • Tomlinson, Janis A. et al. Goya: Images of Women. Yale University Press, 2002.
  • Worth, Susannah and Lucy R. Sibley. “Maja Dress and the Andalusian Image of Spain.” Clothing and Textiles Research Journal 12:4 (1994): 51-60.
  • Zenardi, T.  “Fashioning the Duchess of Alba:  Vicarious Thrills and Sartorial Flirtations During the Spanish Enlightenment.”  Fashion Theory 14:1 (March 2010):  7-44.


  • Reply Sherry February 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Absolutely LOVE your maja outfit. I need one because we are forming a group of 4 musicians 18th century… 2 (1 male, 1 female) of French and 2 (1 male, 1 female) of Spanish.

    We are just starting out. I bought cloth (rayon-cotton blend) in Valencia, Spain when I was there last year. I hope I can use it for a gown. Any quick advice on the maja outfit?

  • Reply Lorna April 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Brilliant work, a great interpretation, you look every the inch a powerful Marquessa!

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