Rococo Wild!

Discussion in 'Designers and Collections' started by Chance, Apr 10, 2004.

  1. Chance

    Chance New Member

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    Take a tour of the giddy, gilded head spinning 18th century that gave us much more than Marie Antoinette.

    The Bal Masqué

    What they did before television. A popular eighteenth-century diversion was the bal masqué, for which the nobility would don elaborate masks and costumes and spend the evening flirting under false circumstances. Think Joe Millionaire, except with much, much better outfits.

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    Karl Lagerfeld in eighteenth-century fancy dress, circa 1978


    The Corset

    Spine-straightening, bosom-enhancing, and so much fun to unlace: Corsets were the mainstay, literally, of eighteenth-century dressing. There's still a loyal fan club for the curve-makers, and their modern maestro is the dandified Mr. Pearl, whose pricey custom models run well into four figures (so to speak). "I don't think that corsetry is about pain," Mr. Pearl has said. "It's about beauty. But there's always a little price, a little scar here and there."

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    Shalom Harlow in Christian Lacroix Haute Couture corsetry, from Vogue, December 1995


    Deshabille

    Undressing for success is nothing new. When tired courtesans needed relief from their restrictive corsets and panniers, they entertained at home in deshabille or undress. This did not mean the eighteenth-century version of sweatpants, though; yards of ribbon, lace, and flounce were involved, as well as high-heeled mules and garters. A contemporary reenactment would call for Pratesi sheets, La Perla underthings, and perhaps a little something from Christian Lacroix's latest couture collection.

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    Christian Lacroix Haute Couture, fall 2003


    The Formal Garden

    Nature, left to its own devices, is so messy! At least, that was the eighteenth-century attitude of many garden planners, who tried to mimic the breathtaking precision, if not the mind-numbing scope, of the gardens at Versailles. A favorite: tall hedges cut into winding mazes, which served both as an impressive architectural feat and a convenient trysting place.

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    Shalom Harlow takes a bit off the top in Vogue, October 1994
     
  2. Chance

    Chance New Member

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    Interiors

    It's not just about the clothes: The Met's Dangerous Liaisons was inspired by the eighteenth-century writer Jean-François de Bastide's book The Little House, which spells out the idea that elegant surroundings and beautiful clothes should be seen as a slow, steady process of seduction. So that's why they call it the Age of Enlightenment.

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    The Sèvres Room, detail; French, 1770; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman gift, 1976


    Jean-Honoré Fragonard

    The quintessential eighteenth-century artist, Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) recorded the frivolities and frolics of the beautiful people in fairy-tale fashion: perfect pastoral settings where the sky is cerulean, trees have leaves soft as clouds, and love is a game, not a battle.

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    The Meeting, one panel in the group The Progress of Love, 1771-73; Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1732-1806; oil on canvas


    Karl Lagerfeld

    His Slimness may flirt in his house with other periods of furniture and art (Memphis, Art Deco, etc.), but he keeps coming back to the eighteenth century. That signature white ponytail and fan? Straight out of the court of Louis XVI. And a few years ago, Lagerfeld even had an apartment in the Hôtel Soyecourt, one of Paris's eighteenth-century jewels. That penchant for the Golden Age surfaces every now and again at his day job: Witness the ruffled court shoe from Chanel's fall 2004 collection.

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    Latter-day Louis

    With his frequent and flamboyant wardrobe changes, penchant for frou, and his command of le tout Paris, John Galliano could certainly make a case for himself as a modern-day Sun King (at least in some circles).

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    John Galliano as the King of Hearts, with Alexis Roche and Natalia Vodianova as Alice, from Vogue, December 2003
     
  3. Chance

    Chance New Member

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    Madonna

    Is it coincidence that Madonna has made herself up as a modern marquise for her Reinvention tour? We think not: There's no girl more material than she—and no century more focused on seduction through stuff than the eighteenth.

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    Marie Antoinette

    Shipped off at 14 to marry a total stranger, shunned and ridiculed by her courtiers, embroiled in petty scandals, jailed, beheaded: She may have said a few impolitic things, but poor Marie didn't exactly have it easy. Sofia Coppola will make it all look great, though; the Oscar-winner has optioned Lady Antonia Fraser's biography of the doomed queen and may even do some filming at Versailles.

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    Memoirs of Casanova

    Think biographies are boring? Try the memoirs of the original playboy, Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798). While seducing his way through Europe's aristocracy, the self-titled Chevalier escapes from Venice's dreaded Leads prison, fixes France's state lottery, explores the occult, hangs with castrati, and sees his fiancée imprisoned by her furious father, in order to prevent the marriage. All that in a powdered wig.


    The Movies

    The silver screen loves the fripperies and mannered vices of the eighteenth century; after all, the tag line for Stephen Frears's 1988 Dangerous Liaisons was "Lust. Seduction. Revenge." Some of our rococo-era favorites include The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934); Marie Antoinette (1938), starring Norma Shearer, with over-the-top costumes by Adrian; Cartouche (1962); Barry Lyndon (1975); Fellini's Casanova (1976); Amadeus (1984); Dangerous Liaisons (1988); Orlando (1992); Ridicule (1996); and The Affair of the Necklace (2001).
     
  4. Chance

    Chance New Member

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    Philippe Starck

    French design dynamo Philippe Starck is used to juggling several references at the same time; this 1995 wheelbarrow chaise mixes the artful shepherdess fantasies of the French-court ladies and the surrealist musings of René Magritte (its name translates to "this is not a wheelbarrow").

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    Ceci n'est pas une brouette, XO, 1996


    Porcelain

    Service for 200, please. The French court—especially Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV’s common-born mistress—couldn't get enough Sèvres and Limoges porcelain, with its flawless finish and elaborate decoration. Three hundred years later, Cindy Sherman makes it new again, time-warping a photo of herself as La Pompadour onto a Limoges tureen that has us saying, more vichyssoise, please!

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    Madame de Pompadour [née Poisson], Cindy Sherman, porcelain, 1990


    The Party of the Year

    Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century at the Metropolitan Museum of Art runs from April 29 to August 8, 2004, in the Wrightsman Galleries. The opening gala, known as "the party of the year," will be co-hosted by Vogue's Anna Wintour and Renée Zellweger. Jude Law is the dance chair. Special performance by N.E.R.D. Telephone inquiries: (212) 570-3948.
     
  5. tott

    tott slightly dizzy

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    Thanks for posting, some nice stuff in there!

    I really love the mostly light, sophisticated colour combinations of the 18th century.
     
  6. Chance

    Chance New Member

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    My favourite is the wheelbarrow chaise. I like the combination of the old elements of the 18th century and that light and clean modern style.
     
  7. tott

    tott slightly dizzy

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    Love the wheelbarrow too!

    You know, I don't think I've ever seen a pic of Karla without sunglasses until now...
     
  8. Spacemiu

    Spacemiu New Member

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    I love rococo , such a fantasy :heart:
     
  9. Lena

    Lena etre soi-meme

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    love the pink porcelain piece and Madonna's wig look (which btw was first launched as a main theme at Lanvin's Paris window circa Sept 03) as for Karla.. looks somehow extremely short and ridiculous in that costume :lol:

    regarding the rococo mood seems fresh, fun&light and will catch up one way or the other

    thanks for the topic and welcome to the FS chance :flower:
     
  10. Spike413

    Spike413 barcode

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    Rococo is so beautiful, and when you think about it, it's a great theme for a collection, you can do so much with it. I remember Dontella's f/w 02 couture collection was called Rockoco, it was actually, imo a beautiful collection.
     
  11. rayncloudx

    rayncloudx New Member

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    so pretty and romantic :heart: love it :flower:
     
  12. tiffany

    tiffany Active Member

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    lol I adore the architecture from the rococo period :flower: thanks so much for posting :blush:
     
  13. Softee

    Softee New Member

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    Ah, yes, Rococo... So decadent, so frivolous, so graceful and light at the same time... It's a beautiful period. Fragonard is simply superb, in my opinion.
    Although, one can get tired of Rococo... it may seem too pompous at times...

    But as far as fashion goes, Rococo rocks. It is so elegant, so entirely feminine. I adore corsetes, and I wear mine over a white shirt.

    As far as movies go, i recommend watching Vatel, The King Is Dancing, Valmont (much better than Dangerous Liasons), and the ultimate Rococo movie - Ridicule, it really captured the ambience of that time.
     

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