Historic Fashion- Modes et Costumes Historiques

The final book in our rare books collection that is a good example of historic fashion prints and is also stable enough to be a possibilty for display is

Modes et Costumes Historiques by Hippolyte Louis Emile Pauquet. Illustrated by Hippolyte Louise Emile Pauquet and Polydore Jean Charles Pauquet. Published by Bureaux des Modes et Costumes Historiques, Paris, c. 1870.

The book is a collection of ninety-six color plates reproduced from originals by Hippolyte Louise Emile Pauquet and his brother Polydore Jean Charles Pauquet. The plates’ subject matter reproduces works throughout history from monuments, artists and fashion publications such as Modes Parisiennes and Du Petit Courrier des Dames. Each plate states the artist’s name (if known), the person depicted or title of the original and original publication fashion magazines. The plates also mention who the reigning monarch or other entity is at the time depicted.

Although the book does not claim to be intended only as a history of women’s fashions, plates depicting women outnumber those showing men or children by a wide margin. The prints are arranged chronologically to form an illustrated timeline through history. The plates begin in 493, during the early years of the reign of Clovis I, first king to unite the Franks, and the beginnings of France as a united nation. The last plate depicts the fashions of 1864 in Paris, with the influence of Charles Fredrick Worth clear in the bell-shaped skirt. This book, is the only book of the ten surveyed here that is not compiled of prints directly from a fashion periodical, attempts to create a historical time line of fashion and also comes within ten years of publishing and its most contemporary plate.

Here, I have included some of the later plates which relate to 18th and 19th Century fashions. Enjoy the grandiosity of the Golden Age, the freeform designs of the Revolution and 1st Empire, and the progressively more demure designs in mid 19th Century.

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