Fashion has always held truths about the times one lives in. From the 18th to the 19th centuries, for example, America experienced a transition from colonialism to industrialization. As a result, women’s fashions moved from the fancy court silks of France to cotton prints manufactured in the U.S. In a survey that spans 1740 to 1895, this elegant archive of drawings looks at American life and fashion at a time of great transitions. —E.C.
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