Open Gown and Petticoat, c.1770-80, Glazed cotton, block printed, bodice lined with linen. The hand block printed cotton was known as ‘dark ground chintz’. The bodice fastens with pins and the skirt is arranged à la Polonaise by means of a series of tied tapes inside. Worn with quilted satin petticoat and a fine linen handkerchief.
Levi Strauss became famous during the CA Gold Rush. Strauss, born in Germany in 1829, came to America in 1847 to escape religious discrimination (family was Jewish) & to work for his brothers' dry goods business in NYC. In 1853, he went west & started his own clothing co. which began making heavy-duty work pants in the 1870s. (First called “waist overalls,” they are now known as blue jeans.) As his business thrived, Strauss supported many religious & social causes.