I’ve been wanting to post but no computer! In Paris I went to the Musee du Costume at the Palais Galliera to see their exhibit on 18th c. French and Dutch costume and OH MY, it was SO exciting. About 40 or more gowns from the mid-18th c. through the 1780s. The only bad part was no photos (bastards!) and the gowns were in glass cases, so in most cases you could only see one view. A lot of really interesting gowns, like one robe a l’anglais that had obviously been remade – the center back pieces, near the shoulder seams, had pleat markings. One really amazing 1780s redingote in green and ivory satin with amazing embroidery. They do have a fabulous catalog, but I don’t know if it’s available for sale by mail.
I also went to an exhibit at the Musee Carnvalet, which is the museum on the history of Paris, on the directoire and consulat periods, and they had about 5 gowns from the 1790s and 1800s (along with many fashion plates and drawings). Catalog available for that one too!
Now I am in the wilds of Italy (Umbria) with no costumes in sight, but having fun!