To find out everything you ever wanted to know about the influence of the 18th Century on modern fashion, you may want to visit an exhibition currently being held at The
Musée Galliera in Paris. Palace of Versailles, in collaboration with the
From haute couture to ready-to-wear, the exhibition captures fifty key looks by designers from the 20th century, which reflect 18th century dress - with archives from couture houses and the Galliera’s own private collections helping to build the exhibition.
Madame de Pompadour, Madame Du Barry and Marie-Antoniette were all paragons of the spirit and frivolity within French culture in the 18th century - influencing the European courts of the time and continuing to inspire cinema, literature and fashion throughout the years that followed.
One of the designers who drew inspiration from the 18th century, for a collection entitled Portrait in 1990/1991, was Dame Vivienne Westwood. For the A/W collection, Boucher paintings were printed onto corsets and ample pannier dresses were decorated with mischievous cherubs. Westwood continued to draw on trends and themes from The Age of Enlightenment as inspiration for her collections. A fervent advocate of the art of tailoring, the British designer used ribbons instead of safety pins and masterfully assembled her subversive historical models.
As one of fashion's iconic trailblazers, Westwood set the trend for future collections, with designers including Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel and Christian Lacroix all following suit.
Le XVIIIeme au goût du jour (The 18th Century Back In Fashion) opened on July 8 and runs until October 9, 2011 at Grand Trianon,