Fashion is omnipresent in the Impressionist paintings. Wishing to give an account of the ‘modern’ life of their models, these artists still took great care with the representation of their outfits, whether portraits, group scenes, indoors or out, and even urban views.
The rapid succession of outline from the 1860s and 1880s can thus be seen through the canvases, passing from the flared and hourglass shape of Second Empire crinolines, to the straight profile of the 1880s, marked by ‘pouffes’, ‘bustles’ and other elements that supported the skirt. The taste of city dwellers for outdoor recreation, whether in the countryside, open-air dance halls or at the seaside, could be seen in their clothing, with the advent of new, larger shapes, such as the ‘little suit’ for women and male overcoats. Commercial innovations, with the advent of haute couture on the one hand and the department store system, on the other hand, led to a different spread of fashion within city society. Technical research also bore fruit during this pivotal period, with synthetic dyes opening new ways in fashion, which exploited a range of colours, from pale shades to the brightest.
Thanks to an exceptional collection of dresses and outfits from the 1860s to 1880s, the exhibition is a daytime stroll at the time of the Impressionists. Fashion prints, newspapers and reproductions of the greatest works by Impressionist painters combine with this colourful wardrobe.
Robe issue de la collection de la Dame d’Atour