Saturday, May 11, 2013

Samedi: The Art of Beauty

Over at "The Joyful Molly", Molly Joyful has been treating us to more and more eclectic fare. Once a site for all things Royal Navy, Molly is now exploring everything from Medieval land disputes to fashion. My hat is off to you there, girl. And thus, a link.

The above engraving is from a pamphlet entitled Gallery of Fashion, Month of November 1795 which fell into Molly's hands to everyone's - well - joy. More pictures and elaboration can be found at her post here. As we can see from this picture, though, England had a bit of a time pulling itself out of the old hard corsets and paniers era of the 1770s and moving into the classical inspired fashions known as Empire (not empire, by the way, which always sets my teeth on edge: it's pronounce om-PEER). Unlike Paris, which had that messy revolution to jolt it into nearly nude fashions, London stubbornly clung to billowing skirts and properly covered cleavage. No wonder a British sailor loved a stop in a French port of the late 18th century.

In fact the British, and the Americans outside of racy New Orleans, tended to like their Empire gowns with a bit more fabric than the French. A pity, I think, but no one was asking me.

All that said, those gloves are stunning.

Not in the mood for fashion? How about a little something else 18th century and French: magick. The Appendix blog has a wonderfully scholarly evaluation by professor Lisa Smith of a circa 1718, handwritten book entitled Recueille de diferents secrets (Collection of Different Secrets). Find it here and learn how to do everything from repel snakes to stop field fires. This incredible archive of folk-magic and religion proves that "The Enlightenment" hadn't quite taken hold the way Rousseau might have hoped.

And with that, I will leave you to your Samedi. Bonne chance ~


Timmy! said...

It's a veritable Renaissance, Pauline... Like the one the had in France.

Personally, I prefer Magick to fashion, but hey, that's just my opinion and I could be wrong.

Pauline said...

It's all good. Everyone loves a well-dressed witch, as an example.