Another great addition to the Ringling Museum Library’s collection of rare history of fashion texts and prints is…
Comment Discerner les Styles du VIII au XIX Siecle: Histoire-Philosophie-Document by Leon Roger-Miles. Illustrated by J. Mauge. Published by Edouard Rouveyre, Paris. 1899
This book discusses both feminine and masculine fashion trends from the 8th-18th centuries. Quite expectedly, the volume focuses on French fashions, and ponders the origins of the trends, as well as the philosophy behind why certain things became fashionable and what makes something fashionable. Roger-Miles suggests that there are three elements that contribute to fashion: “la mode, le symbole, la tradition”. The book covers a wide range of classes and types of people along the centuries of its breadth, including members of the elite, royalty, middle class, business class, poverty-stricken low class, clergy and military. The book begins with the Romans in Gaul and their successors and ends with the fashions of the early 19th Century, during the First Empire (1804-1815). This textual account of the ten centuries of fashion covered by Roger-Miles are followed by 104 plates featuring a total of two thousand black and white illustrations all credited to J. Mauge, though some are his illustrations after another work.
This book is so important to the understanding of the French perspective of their fashion history at the end of the 19th Century. This volume was donated to the library in 1970 by the Friends of the Library. Please enjoy the following plate selections from the end of the volume, relating to the 18th and 19th centuries in France.