REVOLUTION IN FASHION 1715-1815: STUNNING ROCOCO COSTUME EXHIBIT PHOTOS.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take one book with you, what would it be? I’ve never been able to make up my mind… but now, I’m quite certain that my answer would be Revolution in Fashion, 1715-1815.
Momoko from Kamikaze Girls would vigorously assent. This book – or rather, Tome of Rococo Inspiration – is a collection of essays and images from a Kyoto museum exhibit. Page after page of Ancien Regime garments are clearly photographed and beautifully displayed. As one reviewer puts it, “it captures the experience of silently moving through the exhibition itself.”
Most of these items are from the Kyoto Costume Institute, and they’ve been marvelously preserved. The lady on the left wears a portrait of her Mozart-like lover over her heart.
This display needs no ornament to express the regal elegance of a masked ball. Even the undergarments convey the era’s sumptuousness. (Oops, that’s my reverse manicured thumb in the corner…)
I recently saw Russian Ark and was captivated by the male court uniforms. Modern Gothic Aristocrats can find similar jackets from the Japanese brand Atelier Boz.
The satin sheen looks like something out of a Joshua Reynolds painting. The Kyoto exhibit opened its doors in 1990; I wonder if it made an impression on proto-Lolitas…
That’s… a… sailboat on top of a mile-high powdered wig! And hats loaded with feathers/fruit/flowers, and thirty pounds of floor-sweeping robes. What more can I say about my love for the campy kitschy Rococo? All hail an aesthetic that is cumbersome, frivolous, and mind-whirlingly awesome!
Revolution in Fashion, 1715-1815 (by Jean Starobinski and Phillipe Duboy) is out of print, and used copies start at $150 on Amazon. Never fear – I found the book in the library and took photos of the best images! I’ve posted them in a Flickr set. Pass them along – I hope they’ll inspire you.