Get Noticed with This Unique Dress: Gabrielle d'Estrées in the Bath

You'll definitely get noticed wearing this dress — whether you'll get arrested or not I can't say. But this is classic art, from the Musée Condé; spell it for the cops: A-R-T.

This dress is cut from fabric custom-printed with Gabrielle d'Estrées Au Bain (Gabrielle d'Estrées in the Bath), a painting by an unknown 16th-century French artist, perhaps of the Fontainebleau School.

Gabrielle was the favorite mistress of King Henry IV of France, and in this painting she seems to be bathing while hanging out with a couple of their kids and the wetnurse.

Gabrielle d'Estrées

In 1590, King Henry IV of France fell in love with 17-year-old Gabrielle d’Estrées, and she became one of his many mistresses, and soon became mother of three of his children and his confidante and trusted advisor.

Henry couldn’t marry her because he was already married to Margaret of Valois, but he and Gabrielle made absolutely no secret of their relationship. He declared their children to be legitimate, and he had the Paris Parliament ratify her position as his mistress. He also got Gabrielle’s 1592 marriage to another guy annulled. He made her a marquise, and a duchess.

Henry eventually asked the Pope to annul his marriage to Margaret and authorize him to remarry, and while he was waiting to hear back, Gabrielle gave birth to a stillborn son (perhaps due to eclampsia) and then herself died the next day. Henry was of course devastated and gave her a send-off fit for a Queen.

There was talk her death had been caused by poison, as she was not that well-liked by some of the French aristocracy and had been blamed for pretty much everything that went wrong in France, and the idea of her becoming queen may have been too much. She seems to have been a smart advisor and a good friend to the King, but one nickname given her, because of their carrying on without benefit of marriage, was the “Duchess of Filth”. 

The Dress

To create this dress, the artwork is printed onto special paper, and then transferred onto the fabric using heat and pressure. This sublimation process creates a soft, breathable, vibrantly colored material.

The dress is then carefully cut and sewn, but with this stretchy fabric it's impossible to control exactly how patterns match up, or don't, across seams. Each dress is individual.

The dress is soft and comfortable, made of a smooth 82% polyester/18% spandex microfiber yarn with four-way stretch. Printed, cut, and sewn in L.A.


Pixels for Gabrielle d'Estrées au Bain reside in the Wikimedia Commons. 

I couldn’t find much info about this painting — it is so overshadowed by another painting, Gabrielle d’Estrées and One of Her Sisters, now at the Louvre, which involves left-handed nipple-pinching.

See other items on Anomaly Panoply that use this design.


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