Rococo Fashion: The rise and fall of the famous French fashion designer Coco Chanel have been intimately linked to the history of fashion. Her career, which spanned almost a century, saw some of the most innovative creations in fashion history. She was at the vanguard of many trends that swept across Europe during the period. She left a lasting influence on the cultural understandings of fashion. She is one of few designers who has achieved classic status in the fashion world. Read on and learn how the legendary fashion designer has shaped fashion.
The rise of the French Revolution marked the beginning of the ROCoco fashion. During the late eighteenth century in France and in neighboring European influenced nations. (Story Of Fashion – ROCoco) Costume jewelry, velvet, toile, silk, and chiffon were all worn by the wealthy during this period.
The term “rococo” first referred to fabric made from the silkworm, but soon referred to any fabric with decorative qualities of rococo. ROCoco designers combined the decorative quality of rococo with the utility of machine-made silk and produced what we know today as oriental, pre-modern, and modern clothing. Much of the work was done in the city of Cairo, where there were large textile workshops. Much of it moved on to Europe, especially to Paris, where it was copied and became known as “roman”.
ROCA is an acronym for its most famous trademark, rococo sculpture. Much of the art was done in response to ancient ruins of wall painting and architecture that used the rocaille style. This style was based on floral depictions, especially on courtyards and gardens. Floral images were combined with metalwork and textiles. The floral motifs represented life, nature, love, energy, and art.
Floral imagery was combined with scenes of wealth, power, and luxury. The wealthy and powerful were surrounded by grand entrances decorated with rococo scenes. Commonly found in courtyards and gardens, these large buildings had huge entrance gates made of brick and stone, usually decorated with metalwork and gold filigree. At night, elaborate chandeliers and lighted torches would be situated inside of these large and grand entrances. Inside these buildings, interior wall decorations were either painted with similar floral motifs or used entirely in gilded bronze or gold.
In the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, the art of rococo decoration continued to evolve as new themes started to appear. Early examples can be found in churches in Venice during the Baroque period, such as the Alter Piece of San Marco in Tuscany, which used a rococo style to depict scenes from the Passion of Christ. The rococo style continued to evolve as new European buildings were constructed.
In the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, examples of rococo artwork included the so-called Battista Grazie, discovered by Andrea Dufour in his famous study in Genoa. The name of this artist is unknown but according to some accounts he lived between the years of 1530 and 15efur. Battista Dufour painted many attractive depictions of Italian kings, queens, noblemen, commoners, and gardeners. As well as Italian royalty, some paintings included commoners like musicians and merchants, who frequented the cafe houses in this city. The themes of many of these pieces included the use of gilded lions on the columns, the use of mosaics on the tabletops, and the use of stained glass window displays.
In 1740, a painting by Thomas Johnson entitled Donneau de Versailles was purchased by the French court. The original copy of this work had been purchased by Louis XIV of France and was kept at the Museum de Versailles, where it is now on display. A century later, when the portrait was rediscovered, it was purchased by Sir Walter Scott who placed it in the National Gallery in London. A century later, when William Morris included descriptions of various aspects of rococo fashion in his book, The Picture of Dorian which remains the most popular book about the culture of the day, he included a portrait of Donneau de Versailles as well. Today, a version of the painting is on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London.