Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion Exhibition

If you were in Milan this past summer, you are very lucky. It means you had a chance to see this breathtakingly beautiful exhibition - Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion.

Fashion has always had an interesting relationship to power. From Venetian sumptuary laws that were meant to separate courtesans from honest women to Marie Antoinette's infamous wardrobe, what people wore told those around them a lot about their social position, class and wealth. 

Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion maps out the development of fashion from the Directoire to the Burbon restoration. The restored costumes are presented with fashion plates from the period to show how the fashion ideals translated into cloth. The exhibition boasts a great variety of dresses for different occasions from marriage to motherhood to mourning. 

Photography by Jean-François Rémy-Néris
I love this walking dress! The color is beautiful and the shawl makes it so vibrant. I would love to have something like this for my morning calls in early Autumn.

Photography by Jean-François Rémy-Néris
A Simple, but elegant white ball gown. As one of Miss Austen's dashing heroes once said, "A woman can never be too fine while she is all in white."

Photography by Jean-François Rémy-Néris
I don't know what it is about this dress, but it just feels so wrong it's right. Maybe it's the pose, maybe it's the turban paired with what looks like a chemise de reine, maybe it's that huge sash or the fan that looks painfully out of place. But is it horrible that I wear something very similar during the summers?

As an extra treat, people are invited to vote for where they want the exhibition to travel next. Please help me bring it to St. Petersburg!   


  1. Thank you for the link to the video--so gorgeous. Funny, I've long preferred earlier 18th century clothing, but this exhibit has me rethinking that. So feminine and stylish, such amazing fabrics and colors. Katherine Louise

  2. I love late 18th - early 19th century style. The patterns are glorious and the styles are gorgeous. I wish I could see the exhibition, but the only way I can is if it comes to St Petersburg


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...