Women's Fashion of the 18th Century

 

The following pages have been prepared to make up for the fact that the picture collections on this site, being meant as a repository of ideas and "also-possibles" for those who know the era well enough, give no explanations at all.

What you will be looking at here is the fashion of the most influential class of each period. For centuries, fashion leadership had been the unquestioned domain of the nobility and especially the court. But this is the Age of Enlightenment, when new ideas of human rights and democracy were developed. Gradually, traits of bourgeois fashion entered high class fashion, then the bourgeoisie took over the leading role. The Revolution was not the start, only the climax.

I refer mainly to French fashion and thus to the French historical background because France was the fashion leader at that time. Throughout Europe and even in America everybody who was anybody wore the latest French fashion made from the finest Lyonnais silks, sprinkled speeches with French and danced French court dances.

If you like music, click the blue clef to hear MIDI renderings of contemporary music.

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