Thursday, August 25, 2011

The 18th Century Back in Fashion

Maison Christian Dior (f/w 2004-2005 on left and f/w 2007-2008 on right)
The extreme silhouettes, elaborate trimmings, and pouf hairstyles of the French Court dress in the 18th Century have served as a rich source of inspiration for haute couture and ready to wear fashion designers like Vivienne Westwood, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Azzedine Alaia, Alexander McQueen and others. In an exhibition called The 18th Century Back in Fashion at the Palace of Versailles, original garments from that period have been shown alongside the modern interpretations to demonstrate the influence of the 18th century on contemporary fashion.

18th Century Period Dress from the Exhibition
Presented by the Musee Galliera inside the Grand Trianon pavillion, I can only imagine that it is the most perfect setting in which to show this exhibition. Sadly, my schedule will not allow me to see it in person. But I lingered on the website, studying the exhibition floor plan and watching the exhibition videos more than once. I also ordered the exhibition catalogue (even though the shipping cost was as much as the book itself).

Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld, spring/summer 2005

The exhibition runs until October 9, 2011. If you are lucky enough to be in Paris, I'd wager a bet that this is an exhibition worth visiting. For more information, consult the Palace of Versailles website here.

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