Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Book Recommendation: Galerie des Modes

I couldn't recommend this book any more highly! Not only does it feature facsimiles of the real plates that were published in Paris over roughly a ten year span, but the additional information it provides is pretty comprehensive too. The plates in the book are but a sampling, and run from 1778-1787.
As with runway fashions today, I think it is important to note that these are ideas of what people were wearing, and often represent not only the highest classes of society, but also the most extravagant and unusual concoctions, designed to attract the attention (and sous) of the bourgeoisie and those outside of the capital.
In addition to stunning full-color replicas on each page with their original captions, there is a list of plates with translations (which seem accurate to me), and a glossary for when you need to know what a chapeau a la Grenade was, or where the redingote en backmann got its name.
It's enough to inspire any Countess, especially this one, to have some new clothes made!

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