DEN Project

Fashions From The Past Blog

The Court Mantua

The ‘mantua’ was an ornate dress designed to be worn at court or on grand occasions.  It’s exaggerated width at the hips was achieved by use of  ‘panniers’ or basket shaped supports worn underneath the skirt.  In some cases ladies were 6ft across at the widest part of the dress.  This meant that even the design of furniture and houses of that time had to be altered to allow for ladies to pass through doorways and sit on couches.