Monday, August 19, 2013

Galerie des Modes, 50e Cahier, 2e Figure

Elegant Petit Maître in a light suit with brandenburgs, vest of Indian taffetas, trimmed with little steel buttons; he is coiffed with curls.
The border is surmounted with different fashionable buckles of the newest taste; at the bottom, several painted and embroidered vests. (1786)

"The Elégants. - There are no more men of good fortune, that is to say those men who make it a glory to alarm a father, a husband, to carry trouble into a family, to make themselves exiled from a house with a great noise, to be always mixed in the news of women: this ridicule is passed, we have no more petits maîtres: we have the élégant.

"The élégant is never frozen in amber, his body does not appear for an instant under I know not how many attitudes; his spirit never evaporates in compliments to loss of breath; his fatuity is calm, tranquil, studied; he smiles instead of responding; he never contemplates himself in a mirror, he has his eyes constantly fixed on himself, so as to admire the proportions of his waist and the precision of his dress.

" ... Men's hairstyles have become very simple: they no more wear their hair en escalade.  These high toupets, so justly ridiculed, have disappeared.

" ... The most difficult thing today, for a man of letters, is not speaking of erudition with wise men, of war with soldiers, of dogs and horses with aristocrats; but of nothing with several women who no longer want to speak, for example of the élégans."

SEBASTIEN MERCIER, Tableau de Paris, 1782

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