Saturday, April 17, 2010

Where in the world is Dona?

Continuing the Time Travel trend to celebrate Heather Davis' THE CLEARING release (remember every unique commentator for this post has a chance to win a copy of the book!)
I would love to visit so many eras, Victorian England, 1950s New England, but the most fascinating era for me would be the "Napolean" era of France during the early 1800s.


Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor in 1804 and was keen to make France a leader of fashion and innovator of design and craft skills. During the French Revolution the French textile industry had suffered and unlike in England, use of textile machinery had been non existent. Emperor Napoleon stopped the import of English textiles and he revived the Valenciennes lace industry so that fine fabrics like tulle and batiste could be made there. This was the beginning of France become one of the big fashion capitals of the world!




To make women buy more material he forbade them to wear the same dress more than once to court. (Love it!) Ladies dresses had extra fabric gathered into the back and trains were seen again for evening. Bonaparte also had fireplaces at the Tuileries blocked up so that ladies would wear more clothing.

Bonaparte was following a long tradition of promoting the French economy through fashion. His empress Josephine was a great fashion leader. She was an ideal model for the slender fashions of the day.


(sigh) What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall at a well-attended dinner in Napolean's palace!
Have a fantastic, fashionable weekend!

10 comments:

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

I didn't know any of that! I remember my parents having some big coffee table book and there was this picture of the scene in Gone With the Wind when Scarlet dances in her mourning dress. I used to look at that picture and wish I could be there once with all those beautiful gowns!

Mg (LWS) said...

I didn't know that either! That is seriously interesting, and I would have never found that out before hand. If I had to be a fly on the wall I would love to be in Queen Elizabeth I court room. Or somewhere during the civil war maybe in Abraham's office, to see what was actually happening.

~Andrea

jpetroroy said...

How interesting. I love old fashioned gowns.

TinaFerraro said...

Interesting fun fact, Dona. Thanks for sharing that!

Samantha R said...

That's a very interesting post. Clever to make the ladies wear a new dress everytime to make sure fabric was being bought. :D

~*Jessica Rabbit*~ said...

And add me to the list of "Well, I didn't know that!" list. :) Because I didn't. If I were a fly on a wall I'd be in Marie Antoinette's room.

blissfullydazed said...

I learn something new every day.

Bee said...

Wow, I had no idea that he made the ladies wear a different dress to court everyday. That is so cool :D
If I had to be a fly the wall I'd be everywhere beautiful gowns were sold (19th century Manhattan, Victorian England..wherever!)

And I see you've reached 200 followers *throws confetti* <3

Brodie said...

Haha I have to agree with the other comments - I didn't know that either! Thanks for posting this, it was really interesting reading. I love learning new stuff in history!

GirlforChrist said...

Some of the fashions are pretty, but there are some that look like torture devices! :D