Thursday, December 10, 2015

Design your own Coiffure

Have a good chunk of time on your hands?  No?  Well you may find yourself going to this link anyway.  The V&A have developed a new distraction game in which you can design your own eighteenth-century wig.  You've been warned.

You can go for somewhat accurate

Slightly OTT

Or just go nuts.

Enjoy! Design a Wig

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Walk through 18th Century Paris

Musicologist Mylène Pardoen has brought us back in time with what she thinks the Grand Châtelet district of Paris sounded like.  We forget how much of our environment and memories consists of sounds and that is perhaps why few letters from the period document them.  The video above (start around the 2 minute mark) seeks to transport the viewer into Paris, with a 3D reconstruction of what it would have looked  and sounded like. Sigh, c'est merveilleux.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

'The Fashionable Bosom'

I'm not sure which I like more: the title of this print (A Nest for Puppies or the Fashionable Bosom) or its content.   Either way it's in my favourite file along with The breeches in the Fiera Maschereta.

The 1786 print critiques women's frivolous love of cute little lap dogs and expanding bustlines.  Why not combine the two?

Why not indeed.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Royal Joke

Poor Mrs Fitzherbert.  Aside from the pain of being attached to the Prince of Wales, the unfortunate woman also seemed to suffer from a deficiency in brains by most accounts...which is likely how she got stuck with the prince to begin with.

Even though the Prince refused to socialise with people who refused to invite his illegal wife to their events, he and his family weren't entirely kind to Maria Fitzherbert Hanover.  Court gossip, Lady Mary Coke's letter tellsof one such occasion that left Maria publicly mortified.  While taking a walk with some of her friends and her husband in Windsor, enjoying the fresh air by the water's edge.  The Duke of Cumberland (the prince's uncle) approached Maria, and making polite conversation, asked her if she could swim.  When she responded that she 'thought she could,' he swiftly pushed her into the water.  Being that this was 1789, you can only imagine the layers upon layers of soaking wet muslin and delicate little shoes that were ruined in this display of 'humour.'  While poor Maria cried, the Duchess of Cumberland (and presumably, her hilarious husband) burst into laughter.  Mrs Fitzherbert wasn't injured, but I am sure her ego surely was.  Lady Mary Coke seemed to have little sympathy for her story's subject either, stating the whole thing was brought about 'by the company she is so desirous of keeping.'