It’s THE new bible of fashionistas lovers. The clothing equivalent of the culinary Grand Larousse de la cuisine, to always have handy. Histoire des modes et du vêtement recalls the evolution of fashion during these last 600 years, from the birth of the button to the Courrèges mini dress including the Étiquette dress code at the court of Versailles, the rise of haute couture and the punk influence of the Sex Pistols. You said great gift idea?
What you will discover
Histoire des modes et du vêtement, this history of fashion and clothing is the baby of Denis Bruna, doctor in history at the Sorbonne and head curator of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, and Chloé Demey, in charge of the Editions and images for the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Needless to say this is the result of titanesque research.
Classified in chronological order, this very handsome book to display on a coffee table is filled with varied sources: written reports, archeological finds, paintings, iconographies, advertising posters… with juicy anecdotes and exclusive information. A golden nugget.
What you will learn
We don’t want to spoil if. However, we can tell you that you will learn that during the Middle-Ages, in addition to keeping its wearers warm, the use of fur served as hierarchy between social classes, some of which were forbidden to lower class people. For example, the Queen of France, Isabeau de Bavière wore vair or miniver fur, an ultra rare squirrel—the outfit created for her required no less than 1872 skins.
#FunFact: at your next dinner party, you can also mention the famous poulaine à la Jacquouille, derived from “Pouloigne” (Poland in old French), was very controversial at the time because of its pointed shape, assimilated to the “claw of demons”.
And did you know second-hand vintage clothes dated back to the Old Regime? Titled aristocrats passed down their used clothes to the small nobility, which in turn sold it to the bourgeois. Or how to get rid of closet oldies by allowing those from different social levels to take advantage of them and thus propagate the trends.
It makes us laugh
Citations in old French of reports dating back to the Middle-Ages, such as when a fatiste playfully describes shoes as being “large, like boats or barges.” Totally ready for the casting of the next The Visitors film.
Histoire des modes et du vêtement by Denis Bruna and Chloé Demey, Editions Textuel, €55.
© Pierre Boulat / Association Pierre et Alexandra Boulat
© Coll.part. DR