The two gown photos below are of one of my personal favorites. I love to color combination of green and blue, reminiscent of Peacock Colors, I love the squared neckline. I love the colored ribbon outline along the squared neckline. I love the four foot train.
So, consider the idea that a lot of the Victorian Fashions hearkined back to the late 1700's fashions! Most people equate the "Polonaise Gown" with the timeframe of 1770 or 1780 (think Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette), however, there was a major revival of this style of gown in the Victorian 1870's! You can see some of that styling with this gown from the front. The cutaway overskirt revealing the matching foundation skirt, and the gathering up of some of the fullness of the back of the gown, both of which clearly have their origins from an earlier time period. (As a side note: The "a la polonaise" was also known as a "Dolly Varden" style, based on the heroine of Charles Dickens historical novel "Barnaby Rudge", which was set in 1780s!) Fashion, like History, seems to repeat itself with some mild variations along the way!
In closing, I challenge you to take a look at some of todays designer's fashions, maybe even in your own closet, to see if you can detect a reflection back to an earlier fashion time! Look at the fabrics. Look at the construction. View the line of the silhouette. What era does it evoke? All this, and more, plays into how YOU create your own personal wardrobe. Enjoy!