Friday, March 8, 2013

A French Neoclassical Apron: Marigold Yellow Silk Damask, c.1810

the French silk industry continued to flag in the later years of the 18th century and into the early 19th, due to fashion trends and International competition. Once Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself emperor in 1804, He created much needed economic stability at home.  Of his many measures, he  reinvigorated the French silk industry. The use of bright hues, even unusually colored silks dominated the clothing ensembles of the well-to-do. The lively, marigold apron Pictured here, exemplifies this trend during the Empire period.  The Hamot textile concern, which survived until the 1900s, is a good example of the industry. (See  
The apron’s neoclassicism is subtle but clear -- note the long lines (perfect over a columnar high-waisted white gown), the elaborate cording and graceful tassels. Indeed, the use of silk for the apron would have continued the visual effect of lightness and opacity, without bulk or heaviness of the earlier Rococo styles.
This particular delicate wisp of silk was a stylish statement rather than the "work-a-day"woman's garment. 

It measures: 6" top width, 28" bottom width, and 28 1/2" length.
Collection of the Author via

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