Friday, August 20, 2010

Dark Antoinette


Fall 2010: Detail of Dior advertisement
Scan by Sarah Cloud Peterson


My favorite leaf in Elle USA's 562-page September tome was the Dior ad featuring Karlie Kloss. To my eyes, it's a dark, stark, fetishy take on 18th century scenes of boudoirs, levées, and toilettes with their stockings and ribbon garters; towering coiffures in various stages of preparation; floating ruffles; peignoirs drifting open...

It's Marie Antoinette meets The Matrix.

A bouquet of 18th century comparatives from my collection:



1742: Detail of La Toilette by François Boucher, oil on canvas in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid.
Image courtesy of
CGFA
Image adapted by Sarah Cloud Peterson


Circa 1788: Detail of L'Indiscretion by Jean-François Janinet after Nicolas Lavreince, color engraving.
Image courtesy of
Childs Gallery
Image adapted by Sarah Cloud Peterson



1724: Detail of The Garter by Jean François de Troy, oil on canvas in private collection, New York.
Image from
Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century by Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton
Scan by Sarah Cloud Peterson



1776: Detail of Interior Scene with Two Women and a Gentleman by Louis-Roland Trinquesse, oil on canvas in the Maurice Segoura Collection.
Image from
Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century by Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton
Scan by Sarah Cloud Peterson



C. 1775: Detail of Young Girl at Her Toilette by Nicolas Lavreince, oil on canvas in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.
Image from
La France au Temps des Libertins by Jacqueline Queneau and Jean-Yves Patte
Scan by Sarah Cloud Peterson



Circa 1788-1789: Detail of "Woman in robe à la Polonaise ... puts on a garter" by Pierre-Adrien Le Beau after Le Clerc, engraving in 7th cahier of Costumes français in the Musée Galliera, Paris.
Image from La France au Temps des Libertins by Jacqueline Queneau and Jean-Yves Patte
Scan by Sarah Cloud Peterson


18th century influences are nothing new in fashion, but they're striking now when other big designers are looking at the middle decades of the 20th century.

I'm intrigued that the Dior ad draws from the 18th century's soft shapes of deshabille rather than from its distinctive cone-shaped bodices and door-brushing wide hips. My eye is also caught by the blush pink floral fabric and rich plum garters cheering up the study in dark, heavy neutrals.

And that handbag...there's just something so luxurious (in a good way? not sure) about a pleated bag that takes three times more leather than it needs to be functional.

19 comments:

  1. The Dior ads have been jumping out at me from the UK September issues too - they're so beautiful - as are your 18th century pictures. I've always wanted to swan around in one of those big crinoline dresses for some reason!

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  2. I have just come across your blog, and I find it most interesting; so I will be revisiting it as your posts pop up.
    Sacramento
    (from South Spain)

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  3. Veshoevius - I've wanted to swan around in an 18th century frock, too -- so flattering to the waist and bust, which are still some of my better features! I've made some basic 18th century corsetry, but never got my act together well enough to sew a wonderful sacque gown to put over it.

    sacramento - Thanks for coming by and commenting! Have you visited My Castle in Spain yet? Lala lives in Andalucia and posts wonderful pictures of her life there and travels elsewhere. I think you had mentioned that you were from Andalucia?

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  4. Beautiful photos..thank you for sharing:)

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  5. This is a lovely blog - found you through IFB:). This deshabille style is right up my alley - all those soft shapes fashioned from surprising fabrics like the leather coat are both forgiving and extreme. Just beautiful xo

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  6. I have visit My Castle in Spain. As a matter of fact we live 1 hours drive from Granada. Small world. Thank you for joining me in my blogging adveture.

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  7. How good are these pictures!!!

    http://returntoyourdreams.blogspot.com

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  8. Collette - Thanks for coming by! I'm always glad to share a little historical costume perspective on today's trends, and will keep my eye open for more examples.

    Pull Your Socks Up - Thank you so much! I was particularly captured by that peignoir/dressing gown style coat done in leather. Now that's my kind of leather jacket!

    sacramento - My pleasure! I am not very familiar with Spain, but you and Lala make it look wonderful indeed.

    claire - I know, right? Thanks for taking a peek. In the other images I've seen from this shoot (like here at lace & tea, the 18th century inspiration is less apparent, but we still have that interesting contrast of floaty, feminine fabrics against dark colors and more severe, fetishy textures and cuts.

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  9. Fantastic post! I love it!

    Best, Jenny

    http://bohemenoir.blogspot.com/

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  10. Dear Sarah,
    you're setting the tone of my day ! actually since yesterday, i'm wearing a white lacy skirt with a flowery top...very boudoir ! :-)

    i've just read the comments on top. Thank you so much for mentioning my blog to Sacramento with such words. It is really sweet of you...
    xoxo
    Lala

    ps : i haven't opened a september issue yet...don't want summer to end really...

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  12. What wonderful images, how feminine and lovely. I adore the Dior ad you've shown, I never buy magazines and probably wouldn't have seen it if you hadn't shared. xxx

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  13. I'm very impressed with how you connected the main motives of the ad with history. Also, hands down one of my favorite ads of the season, Karlie Kloss is fierce and fantastic.

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  14. Jenny - Thank you for coming by! I plan to keep my eyes open for similar post ideas from future ad campaigns. It's not often that stylists and photographers are so clearly influenced by a costume period I adore, though.

    Hi, Lala! your outfit sounds lovely. I'll have to check your blog in a moment to see if there are pictures. Inspired by your comment, I wore ruffles yesterday, too -- not sure if I like any of the pictures enough to post them, though! It is my pleasure to spread the word about your blog. I do so like it when bloggers share beautiful pictures of their real lives and happenings.

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  15. Hello, Vix - I've become much more interested in certain fashion magazines (perhaps more than I should be) since having two little kids -- makes it harder to just go shopping (or idle web merchant surfing) to see what's out there! I've come across very inexpensive subscriptions to Elle and Lucky, in particular, so I couldn't resist. I admit I love Lucky magazine here in the USA because it's all about (often affordable) shopping and styling -- doesn't require the intellectual engagement Elle does, with all those book and film reviews and deep probes into psychological, financial, body, and beauty problems.

    Eva - Thank you for coming by! That whole Karlie Kloss for Dior shoot looks intriguing so far, as scans of it trickle onto the internet. I don't pay much attention to particular models, but Karlie is definitely on my radar now.

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  16. first of all, wow for the Dior bag! perfect for the ankle boots! *thumbs up*

    also, those 18th century images are wonderful. see, even during 18th century, women looks glamorous and fashioble from head to toe...but uhm, i can tell it's not so very comfy as today's modern fashion style =)

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  17. Loved your Links a la Mode on IFB
    Love your blog , lets become fashionable blogger friends , lets follow each other.

    Maybe you'll be interested in the FENDI GIVEAWAY I'm having on my blog.
    http://www.thedollsfactory.com/2010/09/fendi-giveaway.html

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  18. I really enjoyed your post
    I too love that time period
    The fabrics, colors and just the fascination of how much clothing they wore at one time lol
    Beautiful pictures

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  19. silvergirl - Thanks for viewing and commenting! I do think the layers and disciplined shapes are so decadent and sensual.

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