While I edit and standardise some files I thought I’d also share some of why I decided on a mantua over a francaise: The Blue second Managers gown from Phantom of the Opera.
The 1870s had a heady mix of 18th century inspiration. Right across the Baroque to Rococo.
So there are times where self fabric or matched colour trimmings mimic or reference the latter part of the century, so too are there times the mantua is a clear inspiration.
This is especially true for the late 1870s as the waist dropped a little, and the bodice hem dropped further. The entire style was narrow, with a focus on the tablier (front of skirt panel) and a looped back train.
It’s possible to consider pannier style drapery as the extension of the front of the mantua robe, and the water fall as the back of the robe. The apron drapery can even be brought in separately though usually these seem to be of a different material.
I am quite enjoying the fact that my mantua can be used to illustrate the similarities and differences in cut and fit and in construction as I used my library of patterns for both my own Blue dress and Mantua.