|Victorian Button Ornate Neoclassical Necklace by Compass Rose Design|
|Perhaps in a conscious move to distance oneself from the trappings of aristocratic life, the intricate lace, silk brocades and powdered wigs so popular during the 18th century fell out of favor. Idealized versions of daily English fashion crept into Parisian society style as fabrics which allowed movement and outdoor wear. Pinterest is a great research tool for tracing visual trends - like the evolution of corsets and waistlines and fashionable silhouette - you can see more historical fashion, jewelry and design photos on my Pinterest page.|
In addition to the sociopolitical transformation of the old aristocratic structure, excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneumin the mid 1750s influenced the emergence of Neoclassical design. By the mid 1790s in Western Europe, classical images of flowing gowns, carved stone cameos and idealized notions of Greek civilization reached French and English society. Tight-laced corsets were temporarily out of fashion while the women draped themselves in flowing gauzy gowns reminiscent of Grecian statues. These 1790 stays provided some support, while allowing the natural figure to be seen.
|1790 stays, undergarments worn with Neoclassical dress styles|
Les Merveilleuses, "Fabulous Diva," flourished in the live fast, die young social mentality that took over the salons of Paris after the Reign of Terror. At the center of the Neoclassical fashion moment, we find several significant and colorful women: Thérésa Cabarrus Fontenay Tallien and Joséphine de Beauharnais (later Napoleon's wife) both of whom had narrowly escaped death during the Reign of Terror.
|Napoleon's niece and adopted daughter, Stephanie de Beauharnais|
|Napoleon's second wife,|
|Ruby Red Glass Cameo Double Strand Necklace by Compass Rose Design|
|Victorian Button necklace with Greek Hero theme,|
typical of Neoclassical themes by Compass Rose Design.
|Print of a drawing by John Flaxman of a scene in Virgil's Iliad, 1795|