Fashion Overthrown

The French Revolution changed more than the government of France, it changed the way the French looked.  Before the Revolution and in the years it was brewing, the French nobility dressed in ostentatious ways.  There was silk, embroidery, layers and bright colors.  It was a very opulent time. The harsh winter of 1788-89 only contrasted the difference between the rich’s luxury and the poor’s destitution.  It was therefore, that the revolutionaries viewed fashion and luxury as tyrants.  The revolutionaries abolished the long standing hierarchy given by birth and established that everyone was just a citizen. The nobility no longer wore extravagant garments in fear of being viewed as anti-revolutionaries.  As expressed in “Revolution and Recovery” fashion was no longer in fashion.  However, the rules of the new simple look were just as strict, if not stricter than, the old sumptuary laws.  I took a picture of a fan and scarves to represent the variety of fabrics and embroidery that was used prior the the revolution.  During the revolution the clothes were much plainer and scenes from the revolution such as the destruction of the Bastille, were very common.  No one was allowed to show any allegiance to the old monarchy, not even to mourn them after they were executed.  However, some secretly did, by using fans that would have hidden messages when partially folded.  A lot of swinging between austerity and opulence would take place before the balance in fashion would be restored.