COSTUMES.ORG -- THE COSTUMER'S MANIFESTO WIKI

ClassesFashiondress18thcent

18th Century Europe till the French RevolutionWeek #6:

18th Century Europe till the French RevolutionStep 1:

Read the online "lecture" on dress in the 18th Century below and click on any links that interest you. You are not required to read all the material on all the links, however:

Dress in

18th Century

Europe till the French Revolution

Style

The Rococo period was marked stylistically by the same convoluted detail and elaborate decoration which characterized the Baroque period immediately preceding it. But despite this similarity Rococo style had, at its center a radical difference.

Where every aspect of the fine and decorative arts of the Baroque period had at its core an extreme solidity and heaviness, Rococo art , music and furniture had, as its basis, a lightness and fluidity which grew more pronounced as it progressed. Rococo forms in the decorative arts typically seem to float upwards in complex curvilinear patterns, defying both physical and emotional gravity.

18th Century The Dance by Lancret

Flowers, birds, and bows became dominant motifs in a style that highlighted a kind of idealized femininity. These forms were incorporated into all the visual arts, both fine and decorative, so that it is not surprising to find that shapes used in furniture are similar to the shapes used in costume.

Women's Dress

The 18th Century woman was the most free and well respected member of her sex in history of Western Civilization until the 20th Century. The advent of the had suddenly changed the rules of Western society from one where brute force constituted power to one where intelligence and reason were the admired and powerful traits. Since women had no trouble competing in this new way, for the better portion of the 18th Century women discretely ruled society and made advances in it, becoming authors, artists, doctors and business women. It is little wonder that the arts and philosophy of the time glorified women, and that the style most associated with the 18th Century, the Rococo, is replete with what psychologists call "feminine forms."

18thcentWomenOperabox.jpg At the Opera, 1770's

The

Cut of Women's Clothes 1700-1789

The style of Women’s garments in the 18th Century reflect the improving status of women in society. While the mantua

18thcentWomenMantua.gif

of the

early 18th Century was a rather simple limp garment composed of two lengths of

fabric pinch pleated at the waist over the

stays with wide soft sleeves sewn in, the mantua was gradually stiffened, decorated and expanded with

hoops called panniers

AccessoriesUnderwearHoop&corset.jpg (Kohler)

until, by

mid/century it had been stylized into the Robe de Francaise a doll-cake-like structure that insured that a woman

took up three times as much space as a man and always presented an imposing and ultra feminine spectacle. After 1760, women began to expand vertically as well, raising their

hair with pads and pomade to a height in the

1770's that only a man on stilts could hope to emulate.

Watch for a film interpretation of the styles of this era.

HistoryStibbert216.jpg French Hairdress of the 1770's from Stibbert

After 1780, a fashion for Rousseauesque naturalism took over and women adopted more "natural" looking fashions which still took up a considerable amount of space, but emphasized the natural sexual characteristics of the female figure with padded busts and bottoms and riots of cascading hair under massive hats.

Step 2:

Step 2:Click here for further instructions.

Step 3:

Continue reading the Lecture:

Men's Dress

HistoryQuicheratGentihommealamodede1693.jpg Gentleman in the fashion of 1693, Young man of the bourgeoisie in 1710 (Quicherat)

The Enlightenment caused a number of changes in men’s values as well. Intelligence and wit were prized about physical prowess of any kind and the army became a profession only resorted to by the poorer, younger sons of the gentry. Military dress played less of a part in the fashion inspiration for men’s clothes as a result, and women’s dress, Asiatic dress, and Country clothing were turned to as sources of inspirationinstead.

HistoryQuicheratHabitdeceremonievers.jpgCourt dress of 1750, Man in redingote 1729 (Quicherat)

It should be noted that at this time period high fashion and everyday dress for the nobility became separated into two distinct entities, for example, a

mid-18th Century English Duke might wear

laces, gilt

embroidery and velvets at a formal occasion yet wear simple dark Quaker built clothes during the day, almost indistinguishable from what a middle class shopkeeper might wear.

The Dominant style in the the

early part of the century was with the formal mode of dress which gradually phased out, until in

1800, almost all that was left was the informal day dress. Throughout the century the two styles existed side-by-side, usually cut along the same lines and only distinguished by color, fabric and trimming.

The

Cut of Men's Clothes 1700-1789

The predominant cut in 1700 was full skirted but soft with strong vertical lines introduced with rows of buttons, long hanging cravats, and

full-bottomed wigs

GeneralCalthropcolorCalthrop1739.jpg Man of 1739 from

18th Century Color Plates by Dion Clayton Calthrop

As women began to adopt the full skirted pannier style, men’s dress did likewise, expanding their skirts through the 1740's, till the trend reversed, and coat skirts softened again and were

cut less fully.

By 1760 coats were being cut away from the front, and vest were cut at hip length.

18thcentKohlerColorplate12.jpg c. 1760formal dress from

Color plates of original 18th Century costumes from Karl Kohler's "Kostumekunde"

The 1770’s introduced the small standing band collar and small flat collar.

18thcentMen1779man.jpg man of c.1779-80

The 1780’s are marked by shorter waistcoats, and fold over collars.

18thcentMen1780sman.jpg late 1780's man from a print in Tara's collection.

General Notes

The comparative stability and prosperity of this period, compared to the turmoil of the preceding two centuries meant that there was a huge expansion in the production of luxury goods of all kinds. Expensive, frivolous, non essential items such as

snuff boxes, folding

fans

wigs, fur

muffs and

cosmetics were popular with fashionable persons of both genders. Fashion items were produced in more luxurious styles, both because of the economic good times for the rich and middle classes, but due to several technological innovations.

Patterned fabrics for example were produced in larger quantities and more varied styles due to the adoption of the Jacquard loom (incidentally a very early ancestor of the computer).

Faceted diamond and rhinestone jewelry became common due to the invention of the Brilliant cut for stones. Other items such as women's

shoes and men's waistcoats simply became more delicately made and decorated with fine fabrics and

embroidery

File:HistoryV&amuseum18t.jpg18th Century Costumes from the Victoria and Albert Museum as seen in

"Old English Costumes" c.1908

Religious conservatives continued to preach against the vanity of these fashions, but their sermons on dress were far more moderate than in the preceding century. The attitude is more one of coaxing through logic and sentiment rather than a berating the fashionable for their sins. "Plain dress" groups like the Quakers managed to design versions of "

plain dress" that were so tasteful, well-made and refined looking that late in the Century many English and American men of style adopted their dress regardless of their religious views.

The

lower classes' dress continued to be ragged and wretched as the Agricultural Revolution continued to force peasants off of the farm and into

city trades. This massive labor displacement, which continued into the 19th Century is what created the urban proletarian workforce that made the Industrial Revolution possible in the 1790's-to the present.

Milk Maid

redirect.asp?aid=280808&c=a&search=Greuze%2C+Jean%2DBaptiste@160x120.jpg Jean-Baptiste Greuze

redirect.asp?aid=280808&item=143088@160x120.jpg Buy This Art Print At AllPosters.com

Lower class tennant farmers get dressed:

All this stability in style was brought to an abrupt end in 1789 when the

French Revolution pitched Europe into it's second sharp transition period.

This Concludes Week #6's LessonReturn to

Class Index

18thcentKohlerColorplate8.jpg c.1730-1740 from

Color plates of original 18th Century costumes from Karl Kohler's "Kostumekunde"

WomenHoey'splatesLouisxv.jpg Full Toilette under Louis XV from

Plates of 18th Century French Women's Dress by Hoey

18thcentLacroixChrome14.jpgChrome 14: Ladies' Fashions of the reign of Louis XVI from

The 18th Century; It's Institutions, Customs and Costumes: France 1700-1789 by Paul Lacoix

HistoryV&amuseum19.jpg A simple dress of striped poplin with a quilted petticoat. 1780-95.

History100pages18thv&aFrom

18th Century Costumes from the Victoria and Albert Museum as seen in "Old English Costumes" c.1908

GeneralCalthropcolorCalthrop1779.jpg1779 from

18th Century Color Plates by Dion Clayton Calthrop

GeneralCalthropcolorCalthrop1700.jpg Man of 1700 from

18th Century Color Plates by Dion Clayton Calthrop

TravellingWriter's Set


18th Century Costume Links

Timeline Images for Study:

Early 18th Century

Mid 18th Century

Late 18th Century Pt 1

MwbhImagesAristocrats.gif

The Aristocrats, copyright BBC, 1999

See also

18th Century Costume Movies

Product Links

Enlightenment

YouTube - I Want Candy in Marie Antoinette

The Art of Dress : Fashion in England and France 1750 to 1820 The Art of Dress : Fashion in England and France 1750 to 1820

The Thieves' Opera : The Mesmerizing Story of Two Notorious Criminals in Eighteenth-Century London The Thieves' Opera : The Mesmerizing Story of Two Notorious Criminals in Eighteenth-Century London

Dress in France in the Eighteenth Century Dress in France in the Eighteenth Century

Madame De Pompadour : Sex, Culture and Power Madame De Pompadour : Sex, Culture and Power

Everyday Dress of Rural America 1783-1800 : With Instructions and Patterns Everyday Dress of Rural America 1783-1800 : With Instructions and Patterns

Textiles for Colonial Clothing Textiles for Colonial Clothing

Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century : From the Victoria and Albert Museum, London Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century : From the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Men's Seventeenth & Eighteenth Century Costume : Cut and Fashion Men's Seventeenth & Eighteenth Century Costume : Cut and Fashion

Voltaire's Temple of Glory Voltaire's Temple of Glory

The Gentleman's Daughter : Women's Lives in Georgian England The Gentleman's Daughter : Women's Lives in Georgian England

Baroque & Rococo: Art & Culture Baroque & Rococo: Art & Culture

"The Costumer's Manifesto"
by Tara Maginnis