As I am entering into my final project as a student I thought it would be a good idea to record my thoughts on my project and share my work with you. Our final costume is meant to be a representation of who we are as makers and as creators. I have had a life-long love affair with ballet and with the 18th century so I saw no better way to express myself than to combine the two. My hopes are to re-create a historical ballet costume that could be found in a modern production. I have chosen an 18th century design by Jean-Baptiste Martin entitled Paysanne Galante (1722) used in the Ballet de la Provencale and other dances. The second portrait is one of my favourites because in my mind she represent Payanne as a real costume. It’s one thing to have a drawing of an idea but it’s another to find a living woman wearing something similar.
More information on this project can be found on The Mended Soul
My mother pointed out last night that this design I am bringing to life is the epitome of an Ornamented Being. I can’t explain the reason but that thought warms my heart.
In my opinion the centre back fabric used on the petticoat and back lacing of the bodice are the best parts! I love seeing pieces like this because the attention to detail was so important. If anyone is curious the CB petticoat panel is made in contrasting fabric because the gown covers the back of the skirt. It would be wasteful to spend money on fabric when that part of the skirt would never be seen. This thought is echoed all throughout fashion history. I would also like to point out that contrary to modern opinion, stitches were not always perfect!
Witakerauction: SILK BROCADE ROBE a la FRANCAISE, c. 1750. Red and white striped silk open gown and petticoat brocaded with floral sprays in yellow, blue, plum and green having short sleeve, square neck, front opening flanked by graduated padded furbelows with looped silk cord trim, neckline, faux waistcoat and sleeve similarly trimmed. Trained back falls from two double Watteau pleats flanked by inverted pleats at the waist, lining of striped silk with lacing muslin back adjustment. Petticoat pleated at waist with side ties, front panel having matching ruffle and hem band, back pieced with plaid taffeta. B-36, W-30, front L-50, back L-62. (Scattered small spots and holes, two stains to petticoat, some restoration) good. $1,500-1,800.
Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century
oda, Harold, and Andrew Bolton, with an introduction by Mimi Hellman (2006)
Download the book here
During the reigns of Louis XV (1723–74) and Louis XVI (1774–92) fashion and furniture merged ideals of beauty and pleasure through their forms and embellishments. With their fragile surfaces and delicate proportions, tables, chairs, and other pieces of furniture enhanced the elite’s indulgence in leisurely pursuits, fostering highly complex standards of etiquette and performance. Men and women restated the splendor of the Rococo and Neoclassical interiors of the period in their opulent costumes. For the eighteenth-century libertine and femme du monde, a refined elegance and delicate voluptuousness infused their world with a mood of amorous delight.
Dangerous Liaisons takes its theme from this era, when trifling in love propelled the energies of elite men and women, providing almost daily stimulating encounters, and when, as has been written, “morality lost but society gained.” In Choderlos de Laclos’s novel of the same name, Cécile, a young girl, is praised by her tutor in the worldly arts: “She is really delightful! She has neither character nor principles … everything about her indicates the keenest sensations.” Valmont, her seducer, notes the following morning, “Nothing could have been more amusing.” Valmont has won a game in the contest of lovemaking.
The beautifully photographed and handsomely reproduced images on the following pages bring these amorous adventures to life. The vignettes, staged for the widely praised exhibition “Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century,” held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2004, feature eighteenth-century costumes in the Museum’s spectacular French period rooms, The Wrightsman Galleries. The artfully composed scenes include: a woman sitting for her portrait while her husband flirts with her friend; a man being granted an audience with a woman in a peignoir who is having her hair dressed; a vendor embracing the wife of an old man, his back turned, examining a table for sale; a girl receiving more than a harp lesson from her teacher, while her oblivious chaperone reads an erotic novel; a woman giving up her garter as a memento of a very private dinner. The entertaining and knowledgeable texts set the scenes perfectly.
Court dress, ca. 1750
Blue silk taffeta brocaded with silver thread
“In the eighteenth century, formal dress was so closely associated with Versailles and the French court that it was universally described as the robeà la française. As illustrated here, the robeà la françaisehas a fitted overdress. It is open at the front, with a decorative bodice insert called a stomacher covering the corset and an underskirt, the petticoat, showing under the splayed drapery of the overskirt.
In its most formal configuration, the robeà la françaisepresented a particularly wide and flattened profile accomplished by enlarged panniers. Constructed of supple bent wands of willow or whalebone and covered in linen, panniers took on broader or narrower silhouettes. The most remarkable held out the skirts like sandwich boards, barely wider than the body in side view, but as expansive as possible in front or rear view. As shown in the etching Les Adieux (33.22.1), a woman so garbed had to pass through a door sideways.”
Excerpt taken from Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber
“ Designed for his 2000 Christian Dior “Masquerade and Bondage” collection, John Galliano’s “Marie Antoinette” dress tells an unexpected story. True to the architecture of eighteenth-century court costume, the gown features tantalizing décolletage, a rigidly corseted waist, a ladder or échelle of flirty bows on the bodice, and a froth of flounced skirts inflated by petticoats and hoops. Its splendid excess evokes France’s most colorful queen … even before one notices the embroidered portraits of the lady herself that adorn each of its hoop-skirted hip panels. (Plate 1.)
But the two portraits deserve a closer look, for it is they that tell the story. On the gown’s left hip panel the designer has placed an image of Marie Antoinette in her notorious faux shepherdess’s garb—a frilly little apron tied over a pastel frock, a decorative staff wound with streaming pink ribbons, and a mile-high hairdo obviously ill suited to the tending of livestock. In keeping with the Queen’s frivolous reputation, the embroidered ensemble is more suggestive of Little Bo Peep than of lofty monarchical grandeur. On the right hip panel, Galliano offers a depiction of the same woman, also devoid of royal attributes, but this time in a mode more gruesome than whimsical. Here, she wears a markedly plain, utilitarian dress, with a simple white kerchief knotted around her throat and a drooping red “liberty bonnet”—the emblem of her revolutionary persecutors—clamped onto her brutally shorn head. This image portrays the consort trudging toward the guillotine, to lay her neck beneath its waiting blade.”
(Does anyone know who the first picture belongs too? I pulled it off of Pinterest last week and the only link back was google images).
Drawings and sketches of costumes for the opera in Paris and Versailles from 1739 to 1767 Louis-Rene Boquet (1717-1814), 1770.
Quadrille de Mlle De // Loraine 1775 : 1775 : [maquette de costume] / [Louis-René Boquet] - 1