Category: 1870-1879

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1870

The year 1870 was characterized by an extensive use of vibrant, contrasting colors and ostentatious trims, tassels, and flounces. Emphasis was now placed on individual style over the following of trends. By juxtaposing the desire to be fashionable for the moment with the desire to find what looks good on one’s self, society at large saw wide variety in interpretations of fashionable dress.

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1874 – Pierre-Auguste Renoir, La Loge

In Renoir’s Loge, he paints one of his favorite models Nini Lopez in a black and white striped dress in the context of a theater box–a fashionable dress style, but a questionable fit for the occasion. Her highly made-up face and disheveled hair also provoked discussion when the painting was exhibited at the Impressionists’ first group show in 1874.

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1873 – Édouard Manet, The Railway

Édouard Manet’s Railway depicts modern life in Paris during 1873; he chose to feature his favorite model, Victorine Meurent, assessing the viewer in a simple navy blue twill dress–book in hand and puppy in lap. She is seated alongside a little girl clad in a white springtime dress with an oversized blue sash whose back is turned to the viewer as she’s observing the Gare Saint-Lazare on a warm day.

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1876

1876 was a year that abided by the rule of “more is more”, as the most fashionable styles at the time included dramatic bustle silhouettes, combinations of multiple fabrics on a single garment, and extravagant trimmings.

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1871

The beginning of 1871 saw a brief pause in fashion change due to the Franco-Prussian War and Paris Commune. The bustle (or tournure) with a half-train was the most desirable silhouette, often paired with a tablier, or apron-fronted skirt.

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