09 Mar A homage to the woman of the Belle Époque
A homage to the woman of the Belle Époque: elegance on the printed page.
Fashion, style and frivolity in the magazines of the Belle Époque.
Elegant, pretty and bold enough to put on the first pantaloons, malicious in immaculate lingerie, voluptuous in their crinolines, proud under their big feathered hats: the beautiful, ageless ladies of the Belle Époque step right out of the posters, come to life on the pages, wink at us from glossy magazine covers.
Fashion was the main passion of every lady of the time, who daydreamt to attend social occasions and to spend unforgettable vacations while leafing through the pages of fashion magazines, which filled the newsstands of the time. Passionate readers and seamstresses, highborn ladies and milliners, intellectuals and femme fatales, every single one of them was ready to follow the elegance frivolities and caprices. Sometimes they would also propose and introduce new ideas which made them style icons, like the magnetic marquise Casati.
Through a new selection of illustrations taken from a remarkable collection of original publications of the time – carefully chosen by the curator Valeria Tassinari – the exhibition offers a true spectacle of lace, booties, corsets, eccentric hats and creative outfits; a “fashion show of paper models with ivory complexion” immortalised by artists and illustrators of great class, who interpret the fleeting and incessant changes in taste that occured between the last twenty years of of the XIX century and the first decade of the XX century. The many artists whose work appear in the exhibition include Boldini and his friend Helleu, Toulouse-Lautrec, Willette, Rezniceck, Ehrenberger, Gibson, Bonzagni, Cappiello; among the beautiful publications, worth of attention are Le Sourire, Gil Blass, Le Frou Frou, La Vie Parisienne, Fantasio, Le Rire, Jugend, Moderne Kunst, Lustige Blätter and the Italian magazines Margherita, Cordelia and La Domenica del Corriere.