REVOLUTION IN FASHION 1715-1815: STUNNING ROCOCO COSTUME EXHIBIT PHOTOS.

Kyoto Costume Institute exhibit, Revolution in Fashion, Rococo and Neoclassical clothing and culture.

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.”

Beautiful Rococo bonnet, ladies in long gowns and petticoats. Marie Antoinette costumes.

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.

Rococo masks and corsets, 18th century undergarments. Kyoto museum exhibit of French Revolution fashion.

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…)

Russian Ark men's court dress, military uniforms from 18th and 19th century. Aristocratic fashion.

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.

Rococo satin dresses and corsets. Aristocratic court ladies of 18th and 19th century Versailles, France.

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…

Crazy Rococo hat, sailboat on head, huge powdered wigs and ridiculous gowns. French Revolution court clothing.

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.

SHARE & COMMENT

  • GothicSummer

    Fabulous source and really inspirational :-)

    Some of the dresses can be found in the Kyoto Fashion Institute's digital archive http://www.kci.or.jp/archives/index_e.html
    The photographs are shoddily shot and the background information is generally minimal (approximate year, fabric and style) but some come with more detailed descriptions.

    I'm not sure if you're aware of this reference source, but the antique fashion expert/ dealer Karen Augusta has kindly established an exquisite online museum of the beautiful garments she's bought and sold, with detail photos and provenance. It's literally a museum quality collection — many of the pieces were indeed sold to museums. Hope you'll like it. :-) (I only hope she's kept the price tags… ) http://antique-lace.com/

    And Isadora's specializes in wearable antique jewelry. The “sticker shock” I suffer there is always of the “wow so cheap!” variety. (“Cheap” compared to the mass-produced contemporary stuff of comparable quality, that is.) Hope you'll like it as well. http://isadoras.com/

    Love, love, love your work!

  • GothicSummer

    Fabulous source and really inspirational :-)

    Some of the dresses can be found in the Kyoto Fashion Institute’s digital archive http://www.kci.or.jp/archives/index_e.html
    The photographs are shoddily shot and the background information is generally minimal (approximate year, fabric and style) but some come with more detailed descriptions.

    I’m not sure if you’re aware of this reference source, but the antique fashion expert/ dealer Karen Augusta has kindly established an exquisite online museum of the beautiful garments she’s bought and sold, with detail photos and provenance. It’s literally a museum quality collection — many of the pieces were indeed sold to museums. Hope you’ll like it. :-) (I only hope she’s kept the price tags… ) http://antique-lace.com/

    And Isadora’s specializes in wearable antique jewelry. The “sticker shock” I suffer there is always of the “wow so cheap!” variety. (“Cheap” compared to the mass-produced contemporary stuff of comparable quality, that is.) Hope you’ll like it as well. http://isadoras.com/

    Love, love, love your work!

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      Thank you for these links – they brightened up my morning! Karen’s museum pieces are a real treat, and the Edwardian diamond filigree ring from Isadora’s…. ahh!

      Hope you are well,

  • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

    Thank you for these links – they brightened up my morning! Karen's museum pieces are a real treat, and the Edwardian diamond filigree ring from Isadora's…. ahh!

    Hope you are well,

  • http://lacarmina.com Anime Attic

    So beautiful….and without a Singer or serger *sigh* ~Rennais

  • http://lacarmina.com Anime Attic

    So beautiful….and without a Singer or serger *sigh* ~Rennais

  • Karoline de lioncourt

    some of these dresses can be found in quite abit of rococo/ revolutionary/ regency movie's.
    like the first picture the blue jacket and the blue stay underneath was in the movie “affair of the necklace” worn by marie antoinette. <img src=”http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/costumersguide/The%20Affair%20of%20the%20Necklace/a15.png”>
    the second picture, those dresses were worn in the bbc series “the aristocrats”
    some of the mens rococo suits were worn in the movie “dangerous liaisons”
    id say more but i dont wanna bore you :P

  • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

    Bore me – are you kdding? Nothing compels my attention more! Those are some great movies… I need to see Affair of the Necklace. John Malkovich was one sexy beast in Dangerous Liasons. :)

  • Karoline de lioncourt

    some of these dresses can be found in quite abit of rococo/ revolutionary/ regency movie’s.
    like the first picture the blue jacket and the blue stay underneath was in the movie “affair of the necklace” worn by marie antoinette.
    the second picture, those dresses were worn in the bbc series “the aristocrats”
    some of the mens rococo suits were worn in the movie “dangerous liaisons”
    id say more but i dont wanna bore you :P

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      Bore me – are you kdding? Nothing compels my attention more! Those are some great movies… I need to see Affair of the Necklace. John Malkovich was one sexy beast in Dangerous Liasons. :)

  • Christie

    Not sure if you know this but, I bought this book several years ago that has images of the kyoto costume institue gowns in them (actually, they are the same images which you have here.)

    http://www.amazon.com/Fashion-Collection-Kyoto-

  • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

    Ah – thank you! I'll check it out.

  • Christie

    Not sure if you know this but, I bought this book several years ago that has images of the kyoto costume institue gowns in them (actually, they are the same images which you have here.)

    http://www.amazon.com/Fashion-Collection-Kyoto-Costume-Institute/dp/0760782024/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1218163634&sr=8-1

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      Ah – thank you! I’ll check it out.

  • http://lacarmina.com Yueh

    totaly beautiful!!

  • http://lacarmina.com Yueh

    totaly beautiful!!

  • iris chaves

    congratulitions…beautifull exposition!!!

  • iris chaves

    congratulitions…beautifull exposition!!!

  • iris chaves

    congratulitions…beautifull exposition!!!