Galerie des Modes, 46e Cahier, 4e Figure

Young Lady, aimless in appearance, having a tender air, in a public promenade, of the signals that announce what reduces her leisures and daily occupations: her coiffure is a hat à la Minerve and a pulled-up taffeta gown. (1785)

" ... In effect, added my father, despite the estimation that I have for Ladies and the fondness that I have for you, I cannot refrain from criticizing their coiffures and yours: it is, in my opinion, entirely disagreeable and the most attractive face in the world would be disgraced by it.  One hardly sees your forehead: your hair offends your eyes and seems to make you squint; your cheeks are shaded and the curls which accompany them render your face square: on the rest I may be wrong; it is necessary that everything be beautiful, since one suffers it without finding to reduce it.

"My lover stood aside to let my father leave and added further on this beautiful critique.  He told me obligingly that he only found me pretty, and that the new fashion made all the other women ugly; that they rather resembled lapdogs whose front hair falls over their eyes; that their hats must be used as parasols to protect them from the sun; that in seeing their hair hanging to the belts of their skirts, he would have taken them for young Lawyers; finally, that among the Ladies he had seen one en chemise who went without a doubt to bed in place of attending the wedding ..."

Journal général de France (later les Affiches de Nantes), 18 July 1786


  1. "Hortense chuckled maniacally to herself as her father and lover continued to argue about her hat. Apparently they'd failed to notice that the de rigueur accessories for the season were an uneven display of lopsided bosom, and a backward-facing hand. Hortense applied more green eye-shadow and congratulated herself on her victory."

    1. She does really remind me of this mannequin at the MMA that I strongly dislike with those hands.

    2. On the other hand (see what I did there?), THAT DRESS. I've not seen it before. Hortense's folly is well worth it for the link alone.

    3. Sometimes I just go to the MMA website and put in two years, set it to show me what's in the Costume Institute, and just go to town pinning.


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