Friday, February 28, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 12e Cahier, 2e Planche

May 1, 1786


"Flee, go away; you are not far enough. I am, you say, under the other Tropic; pass under the Pole and into the other Hemisphere; climb to the stars, if you can. - Here I am. - Very good, you are secure: I discover on the earth a greedy, insatiable, inexorable man, who wants, at the expense of all who will be found in his path and at his meeting, and what it may cost to others, to provide for himself alone, to increase his fortune, and to abound with goods." This was said, in all the dolor of his soul, by the Philosopher whom we have cited as the authority. This turn and these sublime words, could they not be repeated today, in a very suitable manner, because of these young people who, mounted in light cabriolets, fly rather than roll on the cobblestones, and never examine what is before them, nor at their sides, how many people they are going to drive over? They may run in the roads, if there is no man in danger; they may fly in the plain, but they walk in the streets! What glory can they thus take in having killed or injured some unfortunates who have difficulty in dragging their legs, and who couldn't save themselves from peril when they have been thrown by these accursed cabriolets? They may do better, these young people, if they find so much honor in contests of speed; they may go to the racetrack, and compete in the Tourney. They may give this new spectacle, if they are permitted; they may expose only themselves to danger. Their chariots are as light as those of the Greeks; if the shape is not the same as those, their triumph will be as glorious.

Can there be any lighter and more nimble than the Cabriolet that we have drawn in the 2nd Plate? On a rather long, rather thin, and very narrow Shaft, where a narrow Box is suspended, capable of holding, at most, one person. This Box, made of a very-thin wood, is painted with wide red and yellow stripes. The Dome of a very-glossy black leather, folds by means of four silver springs, and settles in the back on the Box. Two very light Wheels carry the Shaft. The Springs are gilded. The Wheels, Shaft, and Footboard are painted green. The inside of the Box is trimmed with a Louvier wool or another white cloth, and the underside is of a very-glossy black leather.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 12e Cahier, 1ere Planche

May 1, 1786
Essential notice to Messrs. Subscribers.

The number of Books in this Journal, that several of Messrs. Subscribers of the Provinces have asked, as not having been received, and the very scrupulous exactitude with which expeditions have been made, oblige us to publish the following Notice. From now on each Book will be taken to the Post on the 1st and 16th of each month. Fifteen days after each of these dates, Messrs. Subscribers will be supposed to have received their Book. Those who, before this term has passed, make a demand for their Book, are requested to send a certificate to the Director of the Post, concerning that the Book of the 1st or 15th of the month, which would be address to M. ..., never came to the Office. The term of fifteen days elapsed, there will no longer be time to ask for a Book as not received. It will be furnished, however, to the Person who asks for it, on the payment of 24 sous. Letters which are not franked, will remain in the Post without being opened.

The prodigious quantity of Women's Hats which appear every day in the promenades, justify us in having given four in this Book. A well marked difference will not be perceived between them; but appreciators of Fashion will know that the least detail suffices to vary them. Assuredly there is not a great difference, in Men's Dress, between buttoning three buttons in the middle of the Coat, or the top three buttons, or the bottom three buttons; however only the manner of buttoning them is indicated to us and fixes fashion for us. It is nothing, but this nothing is discernible. The same is in Women's Hats, it is an aigrette attached on one side, it is the crown tied with this ribbon or in that fashion, it is white gauze or black gauze, which determines fashion. If several new Hats show themselves on the same day and in the same place, it is the most galant which gets the prize, and which is adopted by preference. Often several seduce together, and leave an embarrassment of choice; thus taste falls at chance to one of them, and the one that, turning up at the Merchant's, memory recalls first (without fail it is the most flattering), carries away the palm, and becomes the winner.

Our Ladies may choose, between the four that we present, the one which suits them best; they may take by chance, if they wish; all four are new, and all four generally received. One knows that a Woman, obliged to get dressed ever day, has in her toilette more than one hat, because she cannot appear always in the same. She make take two or three of these to wear them successively. Is it necessary that the one you adopt covers your face well, and conceals you from importunate looks that you would like to avoid? The Hat in blue taffeta is much larger, and will hide you entirely, if you want that. Do you desire a decided, free, proud air? The straw colored gauze Hat is placed more on the right size, is lifted up a little in the front, and leaves the face uncovered. I would like best, for myself, the one in striped pink taffeta: placed right on the head, which is covers rather well, it gives an indescribable fine and cunning air, which is not unbecoming. Is it its color which spills forth on the face a rosiness which flatters and seduces? I would be tempted to believe it, as it pleases me.


The Hat marked no. 1 is mounted on a frame in pink taffeta, striped and pleated, scalloped all around, and trimmed with blonde lace. Its Crown is puffed, and tied at the bottom with a lilac and black Ribbon au Diadême. On the front and back of the Hat, in the place where the Crown is tied, are fixed two bouquets of artificial flowers. In the back hangs a tuft of pinked white gauze, attached to the Hat.
The Woman's throat is covered with a Kerchief of puffed linen-gauze, and her shoulders with an ample Mantelet of black taffeta. Her hair hangs à la Conseillère, and two curls on each side fall on her chest. Her ears are trimmed with gold Rings à la plaquette.

The Hat marked no. 2 is very large. It is also mounted on a frame; it is in blue taffeta, edged with a wide white scalloped blonde. Its Crown is puffed, and tied with a yellow and black Ribbon au Diadême, which forms two bows, a very large one in the back, and a smaller one in the front. Two plumes, one pink and the other lilac, surmount the Crown, and fall back to hang. Two wide Veils of white gauze hang behind, attached to the Hat.
The Woman is covered with a Pierrot of Indian taffeta with wide blue and white stripes. On her neck is a Kerchief of white gauze, flounced. In back her hair hangs à la Conseillère; and on each side two curls accompany her tapet, of which one falls on her chest.

The Hat marked no. 3 is made in the same fashion as the two first, but it is of a new gauze. This gauze is white with large pink stripes. The Crown is puffed, tied with a garland of artificial flowers, and surmounted with an aigrette of greenery, and with three large plumes, of which two are pink and one is blue.
The Woman is dressed in a Caraco of Indian taffeta striped pink and white. She wears on her neck an ample Kerchief of white gauze with a double flounce. In the back her hair hangs à la Conseillère, and three curls accompany her tapet

The Hat marked no. 4 is, like the others, mounted on a frame; it is made of straw colored gauze and in large pleats. Its Crown is of a puffed blue satin; it is tied with a wide pink ribbon, and surmounted with a simple aigrette in greenery; it is trimmed with a large tuft of white gauze, forming a bow on the left side, whose ends hang to the waist.
The Woman is dressed in a Pierrot of green Gros-de-Naples. An ample Kerchief of flounced white gauze covers her throat, and puffs out extraordinarily in front. Her hair hangs behind à la Conseillère, and two curls, of which one falls on her chest, accompanies her tapet.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 11e Cahier, 3e Planche


A silver Candlestick, with girandoles, with two arms; it is in the newest taste; it is extremely rich in chasing and engraving.

This Candlestick is the work of M. Bouty, Merchant Silversmith, that we have already introduced.


We must advise our Subscribers, before finishing, that the Ribbons au Diadème are already passé, and that the Ribbons au Arc-en-Ciel have taken their place.

These Ribbons are striped in different colors, blended, that is to say, one into the next.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 11e Cahier, 2e Planche

15 April 1786
 Let us compare the times when our Queens themselves went out only in a litter or on horseback, with ours, when they are drawn about in well-enclosed and well-suspended carriages, and with well-bound springs; it will not be difficult to figure out which has the advantage.

Only two coaches were counted under François I: one for the Queen, and the other for Diane, the natural daughter of Henri II. The most qualified Ladies were not long in procuring them. That did not make the number of equipages very considerable (1); but the pomp there was carried so far, that in 1563, at the time of the registering of Charles IX's Letters Patent, for the reformation of luxury, Parliament stopped that the King would be begged to defend coaches through the City. In effect, the Counselors of the Court, no more than the Presidents, never followed this practice in its novelty; they continued to go to the Palace on mules, until the beginning of the seventeenth century. The First President de Thou* had one made, because he had gout; his wife went to Paris on horseback, riding pillion behind a Servant.

(1) Henri IV only had one coach for himself and for the Queen. He wrote to M. de Sully: "I counted on going to see you; but I could not, because my wife went out in my coach".

* Christophe de Thou (1508-1582)

It was only in these times that carriages began to multiply; previously there were hardly any Ladies who used them. It is said that the first of the Lords of the Court who had one, was Jean de Laval de Bois-Dauphin, whose excessive girth prevented him from walking and mounting a horse.

Carriages had the fate of all new inventions, which only rise successively to their perfection. The first ones made were round, and only held two people; they were given later a greater capacity, they were made square, and they sat four people. They were closed with large leather doors, that were lowered for entry; only curtains were used. Bassompière, in the reign of Louis XIII, was the first who had made a little carriage with windows. Nothing is lacking today, whether in comfort or magnificence. They are decorated on the outside with very-well finished paintings, and protected by precious varnish; they are covered within with velvet or wool.

The woodworked parts are elegantly sculpted; the wheels are of molding and gilding. The Locksmith has displayed all his knowledge in the invention of gentle, pliant, and solid springs. The Saddler has neglected nothing in the leather parts. Some Sumptuary Laws have been passed to moderate the excessive expenditure on these coaches: it has been forbidden to use gold and silver; but it may be only today that these prohibitions are observed. Taste, which has also formed the laws, has banished the actual gold and silver coaches. Painting and varnish only decorate them. If some particles of gold or silver are used here or there, it is to throw in more variety, and extinguish this monotony that presented to the eye a too-uniform surface. The best would still be cut only in a rather large expanse, such as that of the sides or bottom, by a little medallion in the middle, and would be varnished over the rest with the same color. However, as the wheels and undercarriage are of a different color, together with the straps and the box, from the support points to the dome, which must be a very glossy black.

The Coach that we represent in the SECOND PLATE, is composed in the manner that we indicate that others must be, with the exception of a light ornament that is charged on the paneling and the doors.

This type is called a Vis-à-vis à l'Anglaise. It is incredible how quickly English Coaches are taken in Paris. They are hardly ever seen anymore in the French style. It must be admitted that those actually made are much lighter, and of a much more elegant form. But an homage that we must give to the French taste, is to confess that when they copy Foreigners, they copy the masters. They reform, they correct what they adopt. The first English Coaches, which were brought into France, were the great, slow, and heavy Berlines, capable of holding all of a numerous family. We French, while taking their form, have made them light, agile, and fit for daily usage, that is to say, to hold two or four people, at most.

That which we represented can only hold two; that is why it was given the name Vis-à-vis.

On an iron Shaft, where are fixed four large springs, a narrow Box is mounted very high, made in a long-square. On the front of the Shaft a Seat for the Coachman is also mounted very high. It is almost as high as the dome. Already it is necessary to make a long apprenticeship to drive coaches, and even to keep on the seat. We do not see a single one in which we feared that at only the slightest shock, the Coachman be thrown to the ground twenty feet from the coach, and be smashed. Our Readers may pardon us for these fears.

Four Wheels hold the Shaft, two large ones in the back and two little ones in front. Sometimes these Wheels are covered with iron all around, in such a manner that in rolling they threw a very monotonous and very fretful rattle, yet they were adopted to give them shoes like those of saddle horses; but this queerness, whose grotesqueness it is not difficult to feel, was reformed. Today these Wheels are covered with a well attached, well fixed iron which no longer gives disagreeable and fatiguing sounds to the ear.

The Box is held to the Shaft by winching straps, which suspend it securely and with little wavering.

The Straps are attached to the Box with curled hooks, and to the Shaft with strong iron rings.

The Box, from the support points to the dome, is decorated on each side with two iron compasses à l'Anglaise, which descend from the top of the doors to the bottom of the bases of the support points, and with six clamps, made of silvered copper, which are attached to the dome, and descend for the length of four inches.

On each side of the Box is a door, fully of wood to the support points, and closed with glass from these points to the dome; and on the front of the Box is an oeil de boeuf which is always closed with glass, and which holds the place of the doors that are otherwise put on the front.

The Footboard for getting into the Coach, is folded and kept inside.

The inside is upholstered in a pearl grey Louviers cloth, and decorated with draperies and fringes attached to the top of the dome, and falling a little below.

The Coachman's Seat is covered with a slipcover of a matching cloth, trimmed with three guipure crépines.*

* Knotted and openworked fringes.

The Shafts and Undercarriages of the front and back are painted pearl grey. The Wheels and Footboards are painted green. The back Footboard for Valets, and that in front for the Coachman, are covered with a very glossy black leather, and are gilded around.

The Paneling and Coach Doors, from the support points to the bottom, are painted in dark lilac. In the middle of the Doors and Paneling in the front and back, are little medallions with an unbleached linen colored ground, representing three little children in each. One represents there, if one wants, little Greek chariots harnessed to three horses, and driven by a Horseman, or a Child on a lion, or some other subject.

The top of the Box, above the support points, is covered with very glossy black leather. The dome and the underside of the Coach outside and in, are also very glossy black leather. Of the same are the Straps, where large buckles of gilded copper are attached, which hold the suspended Box.

The Coach that we have drawn, is taken from the Workshop of M. Hervé, Master Saddler, Harness-maker, and Carriage-maker, residing in Paris, rue Feydeau, at the corner of the rue de Richelieu. He makes, sells, loans, and buys all sorts of fashionable Coaches. He delivers to the Provinces and in all foreign Kingdoms.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 11e Cahier, 1ere Planche

15 April 1786
Women's Coiffure has been, in all times, subject to revolutions, even in the times of the Greeks and Romans. Fashions changed then as now. In nineteen years, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius, his wife appeared with three hundred different coiffures: each one of these Fashion had its origin. Did they join taste to this variety? We ignore that. What is for certain, is that those of our ancestors, which succeeded each other with as much rapidity as ours, lacked this grace, of this freshness and this softness, which makes the charm of almost all those of our Ladies. In the reign of François I, women were coiffed with a high sugarloaf cap: in the following reign, they wore little hats with a feather; in that of Henri IV, they had little caps with an aigrette: under Louis XIII, nearly the same coiffure: in the beautiful age of Louis XIV, coiffure became an art; this art was perfected under Louis XV, and one could say that it is perfect in the reign of Louis XVI. Our Marchandes des Modes will shame past and future ages, which will necessarily degenerate, because such is the type of that which has become perfection.

The Cap which the young Person represented in the FIRST PLATE wears, is of a simple but graceful type. It is of striped linen-gauze, trimmed with a pearl garland. A tuft of matching gauze falls behind in the shape of lappets. It is surmounted by three plumes; one black, one green, and another pink.

This young Person is dressed in a Robe en chemise of muslin, scalloped at the bottom, and edged with a black ribbon. Under this transparent Gown, she wears a Petticoat and a Corset of pink taffeta. The Gown is tightened by a Belt of a wide black velvet

Her neck is covered with a full Kerchief of linen-gauze. In her ears, hang gold Rings, with a Pear-shaped jewel at the end. Her hair is in a raised Tapet in the front, and in the back is pulled up in a flat Chignon. They are accompanied by three Curls on each side, one of which is attached to the tapet, and the other two hang on the chest.

She holds in her hand a Rose, that she carries to her nose to smell.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 10e Cahier, 3e Planche


ONE of our Poets, to mark the fashion of Pendulum clocks, which reigned twenty-five years ago, said, in a Play, which has been thus played:
One crowns with flowers the interpreter of time.
On a little gilded copper pedestal, or a colorized tin one, were raised little cartels,* in the form of barrels, wrapped with garlands of tin flowers, also colorized. What a difference! and as taste embellishes those of today! It is on the frontispiece of a Temple that one reads now the march of hours. It is Love, it is the God of Pleasure which traces it with one of the arrows. Happy Lovers, hasten to enjoy! If this God indicates the moments to you, with an impatient finger he presses them, he chases them, so to speak.

Approach this Temple, that we could name justly the Palace of time. See its structure. It is simple, it is beautiful. There rises by degrees a marble white as snow. Four columns of a marble as white, positioned on matte ormolu bases, support a Dome composed of four semi-circles of marble, decorated with matte ormolu garlands. This Dome is held also on a superbly decorated cornice.

On top of the Dome is raised a white marble globe, around which turns horizontally the circle of hours, that Love, armed with a torch, marks with one of his shafts.

Look into the enclosure of the Temple. See in the middle the chaste Diana, made in antique green, and placed on a base of white marble, decorated with garlands of matte ormolu. Mortals, respect! she bears on her head a basket full of flowers; happy symbol of the pleasures that a wifely-employed time produces. Behind her, on the floor of the Temple, is a column of white marble, matching the four which form the façade, and which serves to round out the enclosure of the Temple.

We ask you: a Temple this rich and elegant, must it not well decorate the mantel of a salon? could it be more to your delicate taste? of torches which light the Temple? On the two sides, put the girandoles. They hold two branches of matte ormolu, with oak leaves. The two figures which carry these branches are in antique green, and they are posed on two white marble plinths, decorated with matte ormolu garlands.

If this is not enough decoration, (in fact, it is not complete) add the two censers of Turquin blue marble,** trimmed with matte ormolu, and posed on two plinths of white marble.

This Temple and this beautiful mantel Decoration are sold at the Little Dunkirk, at the bottom of the Pont-Neuf, in the shop of M. Grancher, who has a very great quantity of Decorations as beautiful as this. Everyone knows his rich Shop.

* decorations around the face of a clock
** a dark blue marble exported from Mauritania

If we have the right to take Verses on Fashion, wherever we find them, because they justly belong to us; we have no less right to take them on Novelty, and to let our Subscribers enjoy them. It is a true gift that the pretty Fable we present to them! It is extracted from the Miscellany of M. Hoffman, a young Poet full of talent.


In the place where Folly reigns,
One day Novelty appeared:
Immediately each man ran;
Each said: How pretty she is!

Ah! Madame Novelty,
Stay in our Homeland;
More than Spirit and Beauty,
You were always dear here.

So the Goddess, to all these Fools,
Responded: Sirs, I will stay here;
And gave them rendez-vous,
For the next day, at the same time.

The day came. She showed herself
As brilliant as before:
The first who met her,
Cried: Gods! how old she is!


A Fashion which just disappeared, to the regrets of many young People, is that of large black Plumes for men's hats. Time has destroyed them. People of quality, when they dress, no longer wear their hat with white feathers.

The Hats à l'Androsmane are still fashionable. M. Donnet, Merchant Hatmaker, rue Saint-Honoré, near that of l'Echelle, continues to furnish them to the satisfaction of the Public.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 10e Cahier, 2e Planche

April 1, 1786


THE woman, on the right, dressed in an apple green Pierrot, wears on her head a black Hat à la Maltoise.

This Hat is edged with a ribbon au Diadême.* Its Crown is enveloped with a tuft of pink crêpe, forming several bows. Two ends of this crêpe hang behind to the middle of the shoulders. The Hat is surmounted with an aigrette composed of several black rooster feathers, and a large white Plume falling back on the Crown.

The Woman wears on her neck a large Kerchief of gauze, trimmed with a wide, pinked flounce, and on the front a bouquet of roses.

Her hair hangs in the back à la Conseillère, and on each side two curls accompany the Tapé. One of these curls is held up, and the other falls to the chest. She wears in her earls two long gold Hoops à la placquette.**

The Woman, on the left, dressed in a rose-colored Pierrot, is coiffed with a large Baigneuse of white gauze, trimmed with a  large veil of the same gauze, which hangs behind her to the waist. On the front of the Baigneuse is placed a large bow of nakara ribbon au Diadême, whose two ends fall on each side of the shoulders.

She wears on her neck a large Handkerchief of plain gauze, and, in her ears, also two long gold Hoops à la placquette.

Her hair in the back is pulled up in a flat Chignon, and on each side a large Curl falls on her chest.

* With a black zig-zagged border, similar to à la Harpie.
** Made up of flat pieces.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 10e Cahier, 1ere Planche

April 1, 1786
ONE of the greatest Philosophers of the era of Louis XIV, said, "I do not know why one rebukes a Fashion which, dividing men's height into two equal parts, takes a whole part for the bust, and leaves the other for the rest of the body." (Surely the three and a half quarters of our Petits-Maîtres were never imagined to have a matching authority which justified their actual taste!) Since several years back, one was sensible that in fact, in order for a coat to have grace, it had to divide the height into two equal parts. Could there be clothes deformed more than the coats that they wore, less than six years ago? Their great length, which descended much lower than the waist, and their very short basques, which hit at the middle of the thigh, and scarcely extended to the garter, gave them a sacklike shape, to which one seemed to have applied little pockets. Today, our coats are cut with an agreeable elegance, and there is reason to believe that, while good taste doesn't degenerate, only their fashion will remain.

The Frock coat that the young Man wears that we drew in the FIRST PLATE, has a short height, marked by buttons attached on the hips, with long basques with pockets, descending to under the garter, and which sleeves open à la Marinière, with two buttons. It is only new in its fabric and color. It is of Bourbon wool, with Moorish grey scales.

The Collar, climbing to the cheeks, and descending almost on the shoulders, is of a black silk velvet.

For some time, one wore Buttons as large as a six-franc écu, which trimmed, or rather covered coats: their deformities made them pass rapidly. One adopted, recently, buttons as wide as a three-livre écu: this sage proportion assures them a long reign. Those attached to our Frock coat are of this latter width. They are of chased silver gilt, or gilded and chased copper. We can prevent ourselves from regretting plain Buttons.

The young Man wears under his Frock coat a Gilet of pink satin, with wide black stripes across it: between the stripes is a brocade representing a Knight and a Foot Soldier. This Knight and this Foot Soldier never walk together, between the same stripes. Our Petits-Maîtres wear versicolored Gilets, and there are none today with a reigning color. We have adopted the one that we have represented, as to please particularly by its composition.

The Breeches of the young Man are of dark straw colored cotton wool: three little white buttons close the sides over the garters. His silk Stockings have long stripes, blue and white. His Shoes have squared tips. His Buckles are oval. On his head is a Hat à l'Androsmane, which covers a rather long squared Grecque, and four large Curls on each side, of which three are under and one is above. A Cadogan fastened a little low holds the hair in the back.

Our young Man carries under his left arm a Bamboo Cane with a golden apple, and two very large Watches in his pockets.

Before finishing this detail, we must say that the color which begins to reign for the wool, is the very dark natural green, alternately called Dragon-Green.

The Frock coat is of the cut and fashioning of M. Delcroix, Tailor, residing in rue Jean-Tison, near the Louvre. M. Delcroix dresses a very great number of young People, who have chosen him because of his taste. He gives grace to clothing, and makes, to a certain point, bodily defects disappear. One can, in all confidence, write to him to make oneself dressed fashionably.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 9e Cahier, 3e Planche

March 15, 1786


After having seized on the entirety of a Table decoration, the eyes occupy themselves with the details, and taking them piece by piece, in examining their execution. Each Guest praises or critiques its work, and more or less flatters the pride of the sumptuous Host. It seems to us, therefore, useful to everyone to introduce objects of Fashion which, by their universality, can justify our choice.

The Soupière drawn in the Third plate, though of a simple and easy to execute type, is in current use: its beautiful simplicity has been adopted.

This Soupière has scallops and two handles, which end in laurel branches which embrace the Soupière.

The Cover is a dome and has scallops.

It is served on an oval silver plate.

The two pieces of silverwork that we have already given, together with those which we will give, are from the Workshop of M. Boury-Milleran, Master and Merchant Silversmith, rue Saint-Eloi, near the Palace. At his shop is found everything that can be desired in Silversmithy. He makes Deliveries to the Provinces and Foreign countries.
A Man of very-great merit, who perfectly knew the character of the French, and whose vigorous pen has often drawn their diverse affections with great traits, has not failed to trace their particular taste for Fashion, and the sort of empire that, by it, they love to exercise on all the other Nations. As the picture must belong to us by right, we do not make difficulty over sending a copy to our Subscribers.
Verse on Fashion.

Fashion is a Tyrant of respected Mortals,
Worthy Child of Distaste and Novelty,
Who of the French State, in which she has votes,
Beyond the two seas disperses her works,
Augmented with success their immense cost,
According to their little practice or fragility.

Her Throne is a mirror in which the unfaithful glass
Gives to the same objects a new form.
The inconstant French admire in her hands
Despised treasures of the rest of humans.
Seated at her sides, the brilliant Parure
Tries, by art, to change Nature.
Beauty consults her, and our purest gold
Doesn't buy expensively her red and blue.

Fashion subjects the Sage to her formula;
To follow her is required, to flee her ridiculous.
From our Ornaments to our Writings,
She attaches to her will esteem or contempt;
And ruling alternately all the ranks where we are,
Puts the Fools in their place, and names the Great Men.
By M. de B ...
Ladies wear, in their grand parure, glazed Gloves, of Grenoble, laced and frilled.

They are found in the first quality in the shop of M. Buisson (of Grenoble), Merchant Glover-Perfumer, rue de Fauxbourg S. Honoré, near the rue Royale. One also finds at his shop all sorts of Gloves for men and women, as well as all sorts of Perfumes, Sultan, Rouge, Almond paste, and generally all that is used in the Toilette: the whole of the first quality, and at a fair price. He makes Deliveries to the Provinces and to Foreign countries.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 9e Cahier, 2e Planche

March 15, 1786

Fashion, which, in a Kingdom where the Arts are cultivated with much success, takes over all Crafts, and enslaves them to its laws, gives shape to the Furniture of our Apartments, as to the Coats that decorate us. It corrects them when they are vicious, changes them when they are old, embellishes them when they are too simple for the age of luxury, simplifies them when, too full of ornaments, they only show the work, and there becomes the mother of industry and the soul of commerce. Happy, when good taste has presided over those who actually reign!

The Chairs that we represent in the Second plate, enjoy this advantage.

The one, that we have drawn with a green fabric, is called a Hat Chair.

The back and the seat, painted in grey, are squared . The upper part of the back has a Hat, and flattened arches. The two vertical sections are molded and pearled. The fabric is attached at the edges of the molding with gilded nails, and best with a crest that matches the fabric. The feet which carry the seat, are in the form of channeled shafts.

The other, that we have drawn with a tapestry with a grey ground, flowered, in gilded wood, is called a Projection Chair or a Detached medallion Chair.

The two vertical sections of the backrest are two Corinthian columns (channeled and with capitals); the top, which is curved in a vault, is Projected. In the middle is a medallion, sculpted with pearls, which is separated into four corners. The seat is square, and it is carried by four feet in the form of channeled shafts.

Observe that one can load the wood with as much sculpture as one desires; but a simple design gives to the Furniture a much lighter air.

The Fashion was at other times to wear coats of velvet with colored flowers, or of other decorated velvets: one was even more adorned than if one wore a more beautiful tapestry on the body. Today our Fashion has proscribed these more rich than elegant fabrics. Those who have retained their old coats, can use them to make armchairs and chairs. With a coat, a waistcoat, and breeches, if they have a certain fullness, they can make six chairs, or five cabriolet armchairs.

M. Bouché the younger, Tapestry Merchant-Mirrorer, at the crowned Eagle, no. 73, rue de la Verrerie, has already made a very great quantity, and he is engaged to make them for all who order them from him. He has one of the most handsome Shops in Paris. He is furnished with the newest and most fashionable Furnitures. One finds a number of Bed à la Polonaise, the best made and the most elegant; Seats and Armchairs for sleeping Chambers; others for Company Salons, and others for little Apartments. He has and sells everything that concerns Cabinetry, such as Commodes, Consoles, Secretaries, etc. ... everything that concerns Gilding, such as Lamps, Chimney arms, Candlesticks, Chandeliers, etc. ... He also has a large Shop of Mirrors. He continually makes considerable Shipments of Furnitures, Gildings, Cabinetry, and Mirrors in the Provinces and in foreign Kingdoms. One can write to him for everything that concerns Furnishing, which is a type of it. Finally, he leases Furniture by the year or month, and dresses Apartments.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 9e Cahier, 1ere Planche

March 15, 1786
WE believe that the majority of our Subscribers would not be entirely indifferent, to learning what could give rise to this or that Fashion that we announce to them. We commit ourselves very willingly to publishing it, when we can do it without indiscretion. But very-often a Fashion only was birthed in the imagination of a Woman of taste, and who makes it with art. This Woman wants to give the ton, she wants people to be vexed that she has given it; but her circumspection revolts at our naming her as the author. Thus it is only permitted for us to describe this Fashion.
Last Thursday, the brilliant Céphise* conquered at the Théatre Française, in a Parure where art shamed richness. All eyes left the scene for a moment to turn towards her. Women, a little jealous, examine, in going out, in the vestibule, the elegant toilette that had been able to fix all eyes. They could not avoid admiring it; they agreed that it had merit; and the next day, they are shown, for the most part, in the same Outfit.

On a proud head, and that a bright eye, animated by an interior satisfaction, rendered still more brilliant, if it were possible, Céphise wore a Casque à la Bellone.** It was pushed over the eyes. (See the Ist Plate.)

The brim of the Casque was of yellow satin streaked with black spots, and edged with a narrow black Ribbon. The Crown, rather high and puffy, was of blue satin. It was wrapped with a wide nakara ribbon, with a black selvage. This Ribbon formed a large bow in the back, and held wide lappets of Italian gauze, shaped and pinked, which hung to below the belt. On the Crown were placed five plumes; two large nakara ones, two green, and one black in the middle.

Céphise allowed her hair to float behind her à la Conseillère, and on each side a large curl, which fell on her chest.

Céphise was still joyous of the sparkle that the Gown gave her. In effect, this Gown en chemise of white Foulard, with lemon spots, and edged entirely with a black ribbon, contrasted rather well with the Casque à la Bellone, diversified with such resplendent colors. It was tightened by a wide black belt, forming a bow in the back.

Finally, Céphise's chest was covered with a large Kerchief of white gauze. She wore on her hands a large Muff of Angora goat, wolf-colored; and on her feet were Shoes of nakara satin, edged with a frill of black Ribbon.

Before passing to a different subject, we must advise our Subscribers, that the Robes à la Turque are still in Fashion, and that they even are currentlyworn in the grandest Parures. We will give a new one in the Spring, when the Fabrics and Trimmings of this season have appeared.

* "Céphise" was used as a name for a woman in a Galeries des Modes fashion plate. It's possible that that was meant to refer to this actress, and that the other names used for the subjects of other plates refer to other actresses, and that the outfits in those are what they wore onstage.

** Bellona, a warrior goddess depicted in a helmet

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cabinet des Modes, 8e Cahier, 3e Planche

As we have just received from Montendre, in Saintonge, a Letter by one of our Subscribers, and that the extent of this Book does not permit us today of longer details, we will not extend ourselves here on more than an agreeable and satisfying glance that can give a Table set with its diverse decorations; we will confine ourselves to describe one of the objects which stands out more, and very-often fixes the attention and curiosity of Guests; we mean a cruet. (See THIRD PLATE.)

This is composed of a platter held on four feet, with a handle at each of the two ends of the platter. In the middle is raised a base holding an obelisk surmounted with a globe.

On two sides are placed two fashionable holders, in which are held two crystal oil bottles cut with facets, and which are each closed with a chased stopper.

The platter, the platter handles, the base, the obelisk, the globe on the obelisk, the fashionable holders, and the stoppers which cover the bottles, are all of well-worked silver.

Response to the Letter in the Journal de Paris on February 9, 1786, on the occasion of new Fashions.

To the Editors of the Cabinet des Modes.

From Montendre in Saintonge, February 9, 1786

The cause of the despair, Messieurs, of Madame D*** P.D.G.A.S. of Brive la Gaillarde, must have touched you in a very lively way. For me, I confess that the pleasant jeremiad that she had printed in the Journal de Paris on the 9th of this month, diverted me very much.

I am this woman that Madame Elect complained about, and that she regards as so beneath her, though I am her cousin, and the widow of a Receiver of Taxes. As I know that she has just subscribed to your Cabinet des Modes, I pray you put in my Letter in one of your next Numbers, for revenge on the pretentions and hauteur of my dear cousin.

What will be her surprise! what will be her chagrin! that she will have! and how long will her migraine and insomnia last! when she learns that the young Officer that gave me his hand, when I appeared in one of the most brilliant Assemblies of the pretty City I live in, will be my spouse in three days!

I owe this victory, Messieurs, to your charming Cabinet. I had put on that day a robe à la Turque, and my coiffure was a hat à la Captif: my Lover swung still between the gold of my Rival and my weak charms; but aided by my galant costume, I finished by defeating him and making him decide in my favor.

This is the true cause of the despair and insomnia of the old Madame D.*** P.D.G.A.S. of Brive-la-Gaillarde. Do not allow her, Messieurs, to cool your zeal, and continue to go into your details of Fashion. I feel very disposed to never love my husband; but if he should do the same, it is good that I follow the counsel of Count Almaviva, in the Marriage of Figaro, that is, that I try to keep him. And which means is surer than that of seeming new every day  to his eyes, in varying my outfits?

In the name of Heaven, Messieurs, stay away from Metaphysics, Morals, and even the Maxims of wisdom, that the superannuated Coquette of Brive-la-Gaillarde demands; it is not from those that we want to borrow from the Capital. Regarding Literature and History, we other Provincials, busy with less important affairs that the Ladies of Court and the City, we have time to read; and we receive, with gratitude, all that you want to put into your Issues, on these two subjects.

I have the honor of being, etc.
Where one finds almost the same words as in the first, but arranged for a different Tune. ... No, no, Colette is not deceitful.

First line.
1. Yes, yes, a hundred times I repeat it to you,
2. .............. I tell you what I think,
3. .............. I say to you with frankness,
4. .............. I say it without flattery,
5. .............. I tell it to you without scruple,
6. .............. I am like a furnace,
7. No, no, I am not deceitful,
8. Yes, yes, each guesses it of you,
9. .............. you are my sovereign,
10. ............ I lost the Tramontane;

Second line.
---------- Love reigns in my heart.

Third line.
1. It's when I see Colinette, etc.
2. ..................... my Hortense, etc.
3. ..................... my Louise, etc.
4. ..................... Rosalie, -- my Julie, etc.
5. ..................... my Ursule, etc.
6. ..................... my Thérèse,
7. It is for you, Adelaide,
8. It's when I see Justine, -- Christine, etc.
9. It's when I see Madeleine, etc.
10. .................... Marianne, etc.

Fourth line. ---- That I taste happiness.
Yes, yes, etc.

Example of this couplet.
Yes, yes, a hundred times I repeat to you,
Love reigns in my heart;
It's when I see Colinette
That I taste happiness.
Yes, yes, etc.
To the tune: Sad reason, etc.

First line.
1. You know the faithful Bastienne;
2. ................................ Bathilde,
3. ................................ Artemise,
4. ................................ Nanette, etc.

Second line. ------- Who for (1. Bastien, 2. Colin, 3. Mausole, 4. Lubin)* had a tormented heart:

Third line. --------- Thus today my love for (1. Hélène, 2. Clothilde, 3. Louise, 4. Fancherre)

Fourth line. ------- Will be known for my fidelity.

You know the faithful Bastienne,
Who for Bastien had a tormented heart:
Thus today my love for Hélène
Will be known for my fidelity.

A Suite of Passe-Partouts, in the next No.

* Couples from operas and history: Les Amours de Bastien et Bastienne (Justine Favart and Harny de Guerville, 1753); possibly L'Union de l'Amour et des Arts (Floquet, 1773); Artemisia II of Caria and her husband/brother Mausolus (d. 350 and 353 BCE, respectively); "a scandalous Belgian couple ... in the late eighteenth century"