Friday, 8 November 2013

Fashback: Late 18th and early 19th Century Classical Dress.

The French Revolution made clothing which alluded to the decadence of the 18th century and the aristocracy both unpopular and unwise. Even the upper classes adopted more visually modest modes of dress. Garments inspired by antiquity (a time of democracy) became fashionable and women began to turn away from complex outfits to looks inspired by statuary.

Empire silhouettes dominated and clothing was made of materials which accentuated the shape of the body in a more naturalistic and less contrived way. France, as one of the seats of fashion alongside London, lead in these respects and went one step further with reports of girls dampening their skirts so that they would cling and better show off the shape of their legs. English women remained more modest and practical.

Hair was now often worn unpowedered in loose curls that looked more natural but which were carefully arranged in reality.

The almost modern simplicity and quiet beauty of this period really appeals to me so I thought I'd share some of my favourite images! All of the works are by David who greatly influenced and lead French Republic painting and dress. Though he was somewhat of an art-dictator, his aesthetic appeals to me none-the-less!

Madame Raymond de Verniac Jacques-Louis David, 1799

Portrait of  Madame RĂ©camier David, 1800

Madame RĂ©camier David, 1800

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