We are delighted to write this first post on Bijoux Closet’s updated site about Fashion over time.
Have you ever wondered how was fashion and lifestyle captured before fashion magazines became commonplace? This question was answered by Dr. Gloria Groom who presented a fascinating illustrated talk titled ‘Manet: Fashion and Fetish’ on November 7, 2014 at Bata Shoe Museum,Toronto. The stylishly dressed Dr. Groom explained about the role that fashion and bourgeois lifestyle played in French painter Édouard Manet's work.
Édouard Manet born in 1832, was the eldest son of an official in the French Ministry of Justice. Manet depicted social scenes of Parisian life in his paintings which often included very detailed images of women and men’s clothing. In the late 1800s scenes of bourgeois life were in vogue. It could also have been Manet’s own deep interest in fashion that led him to paint exceptional details of clothing in his paintings such as “the Balcony”, “In the Conservatory”, “A Bar at the Folies-Bergère” and “Le Printemps”(Spring) which fetched a price of sixty five million at a recent auction at Christie’s. The scenes and style of clothing depicted in some of Manet's paintings even though fictional were considered far more daring than what was socially acceptable at the time and caused a big sensation.
“Le Printemps” a Manet masterpiece depicts actress Jeanne Demarsy in a floral dress and bonnet taking a walk in the Luxembourg Gardens as a tribute to the season of spring. In his painting “In the Conservatory”, Manet depicts a fashionably dressed young lady, a boutique owner sitting on a bench gazing in the distant while a man standing behind the bench leans forward to look at her. The details of their ensemble are fascinating and convey that the couple belonged to the style conscious bourgeoisie.
All the Impressionist paintings at the time of Manet depicted urban life, fashion, being out and about in the city and capturing contemporary ideas. Perhaps Impressionist painters such as Manet could be considered as pioneers of fashion photography who fused fashion and surreal social scenes to create pictures that manage to captivate people and remain conversation pieces long after their time.
Le Printemps by Manet