Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why all the pictures?

Why indeed!?
You may have noticed that at the start of each diary entry the picture is of some article of clothing, a full outfit, or an original painting from the 18th century. All of these date to the 1770s or early 1780s, in accordance with our year of 1779, so I like to think of them as what Olympe is either wearing or seeing in her world.
It is interesting to note the continued use of the robe a la francais, which was at the zenith of its popularity when Olympe was born, but which remained in use long after, especially for court occasions. Though supplanted by the more fitted robe a l'anglais, the francais could be easily looped up to convert it into the style of a polonaise, which was extremely popular in the 1770s. So when Olympe talks about having her dresses remade, this is exactly what she intends; for even the rich knew it was less-expensive to adapt clothing than to have all new ones made.
The whole idea of the blog is, after all, to get a better sense of what the life of someone in her position would have been like on a very personal level. There is a lot of research still to do, always, but I find that to be part of the fun!

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