29 Mar 2015

Fashion in the 18C.

In the 18th century in France, and in wider Europe, one of the most elegant and colourful artistic period was blossoning: The Rococo. The main protagonist in the Rococo was King Louis XV, his Court, and acting as the central theatre, the fantastic Palace of Versailles. Unfortunately, the Queen of France,Marie Leczinska, wasn't in the fashion spotlight, but the super-star in the rococo period was Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of King Louis XIV of France, and the wife of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette.

 In this picture, by Francois Boucher, we can see some details of garments in the french Court.

1. Flared sleeves: the sleeves are slim to the elbow, pagoda style, and then flare out at the cuff.
2. A richy embroidered stomacher is attached to the either side of the dress. In this case, the stomacher is laden with knotted ribbon bows that are echoed in the choker.
3. the sink dress is timmed with double-headed pink roses.
4. her open-backed Louis heel slippers are trimmed with pearl beads.
5. wide panniered skirt: Pannier or "basket" petticoats could create a voluminous rounded skirt.

This Dress, a la francaise, that Madame de pompadour is wearing demostrates her position in the high society of France and the royal court. 
France led the way in the luxury trade in that time. For example, Lyon was the principal centre of silk weaving and embroidery, while Paris became the centre of haberdashery, accessories and innovative drapery. 
Lots of boutiques of the marchandes de modes (fashion merchants), jewellers and miliners were set up in Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore and Rue de la Paix (nowadays, an area of luxury brands).

Marie Antoinette
Archduchess of Austria and Queen of France and Navarre.

Contemporary Designers

Haut-Couture has stolen the french court in many ocations and different designers.

Dior By John Galliano A/W 2007

Modern Rococo Style By Chanel  

Alexander McQueen

Vivienne Westwood 

Christian Lacroix

Jean Paul Gaultier

Balenciaga By Nicolas Ghesquiere

Givenchy by Alexander McQueen 1996



The fashion for outsize hairstyles and headdresses was first set by Marie Antoinette, but it was taken to extremes by her courtiers.
Critics spoke of such hairstyles as dirty, accusing their wearers of harbouring nests of fleas.

The model of the ship (picture on the right) featured in the headdress, La Belle Poule, was well-known for its victory against the British frigate Arethusa in 1778, which began french nvolvement in the american War of Independence.


The most famous "Marie Antoinette" by Kirsten Dunst 2006 / Lucille Ball in DuBarry was a Lady (1943)
Keira Knightley in The Duchess 2008 / Glenn Close in Dangerours Liaisons 1988.


Madonna / Kate Perry / Beyonce

Campaigns: perfums