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Article

Elizabeth McMahon and Lourdes Font

[Marie-Jeanne]

(b Abbeville, July 2, 1747; d Epinay, Sept 22, 1813).

French marchande de modes (see fig.). Marchandes de modes, literally merchants of fashion, were milliners and stylists. They designed and sold fashion accessories, including hats and headdresses, and helped women style their ensembles. They acted as coordinators among tailors, dressmakers, linen drapers and other trades, operating outside the regulations that governed those guilds. Bertin became the most influential Parisian marchandes de mode thanks to her talents for design and self-promotion and the patronage of Queen Marie-Antoinette, the undisputed leader of fashion in the late 18th century. Bertin helped elevate the status of the marchandes de modes to that of a creative genius who set the standard for what was fashionable.

Marie-Jeanne Bertin was born to working-class parents. As a girl she was apprenticed to a Mme Barbier, a dressmaker in Abbeville. In 1770 she moved to Paris and likely worked for a marchande de modes, as this was the nature of the first shop she opened herself in the same year on the Quai de Gesvres. Within three years, Bertin had established another shop, ‘Au Grand Mogul’, in the more fashionable Rue Saint-Honoré....

Article

Gordon Campbell

Type of lace made since the 17th century at Binche, near Brussels and Valenciennes, both of whose laces it resembles. It is a heavy lace with decorative grounds, and was used for bedspreads and as a costume trimming. The name has since become the generic term for the type of lace once made at Binche....

Article

Nancy Deihl

British couture firm known for fine tailoring. Founded in 1710 by James Creed, the house was operated by six generations of the Creed family. Over the course of two and a half centuries, Creed grew from a small tailor’s shop into a respected couture house, offering women the fine materials, technical finesse and prestige associated with bespoke menswear. The same family established a renowned fragrance company that continues in operation as the House of Creed, under the direction of Olivier Henry Creed (b 1943).

For almost 150 years, Creed was located solely in London, by the 1820s at 33 Conduit Street, where its clientele appreciated the traditional styling and impeccable workmanship of the firm. As the restrained elegance associated with English style grew in popularity in the early 19th century, Creed gained a more international following. Many important and memorable figures of fashion, including Alfred, Comte d’Orsay (...

Article

Sarah Scaturro

Technology influences the physical manifestation of fashion, affecting a garment’s appearance and performance. Throughout history, changes in technology affecting the production of materials and the manufacture of garments and accessories have spurred changes in fashion design. In the 20th and 21st centuries, technology has affected not only the look of fashion, but how the fashion system works.

Much of the relationship between technology and fashion centres on textiles. Looms often determine the size and complexity of textiles. Fabric woven on a simple backstrap loom has inherently smaller widths in reference to the size of the human body, whereas fabric woven on the drawloom can be several feet wide and contain more complex weave structures, which translates into more sophisticated patterning options. The drawloom process (which requires two people—the weaver and a person who ‘draws’ up warps at specific points to create the pattern) was mechanized in the early 19th century with the invention of the jacquard loom and its punch card system. Lyons in France and Spitalfields in England were two of the most technologically advanced silk-weaving centres....

Article

Ann Poulson

Fashion illustration is a work of visual art, usually in the medium of drawing, print or watercolour painting, reproduced and published in order to disseminate fashion news (see figs 1 and 2). Before the 1670s, the dissemination of fashion depended on portraits of fashion leaders, such as van Dyck’s portraits of the members of the court of King Charles I of England, reproduced by means of engraved prints. These engraved prints were the forerunners to the fashion plate in both technique and style (see also Fashion plate and costume book. The fashion plate, which usually showed the full figure, often including a back view, was created solely to illustrate and promote the latest fashions. By the middle of the 17th century, certain artists, such as Abraham Bosse in France and Wenceslaus Hollar in England, specialized in these types of engravings.

The first fashion journal, Le Mercure Galant, combined fashion plates with descriptive text. It was published sporadically from ...

Article

Lourdes Font and Beth McMahon

Fashion is defined as the act or process of making or shaping. As applied to dress, (see Dress) it can be understood to mean the making or shaping of the appearance of the body by means of clothing and adornment in a way that expresses aesthetic ideals that are continually subject to change. Like dress in general, fashion is a multi-faceted cultural phenomenon and plays an important role in defining social class, gender and identity. Fashionable dress, however, is distinguished by constant and rapid changes in style, transmitted through the representation of the fashionable ideal in visual art and media as well as through the direct interaction of individual fashion leaders. The word ‘fashion’ also indicates the global system of design, production and consumption of garments and accessories that are, for a limited time, considered fashionable and thus invested with greater social value (see fig.). The fashion industry today is a global system, but it has not always existed at all places and times. This article discusses the origin and development of Western fashion....

Article

Richard Riddell

English firm of goldsmiths and Jewellers. The firm was founded by George Wickes c. 1730 and taken over by Parker & Wakelin after his retirement in 1760. Robert Garrard (i) (1758–1818), who was not a working silversmith but had been made a freeman of the Grocers’ Company of London in 1780 and thereafter had been accountant to Parker & Wakelin, became a partner in the firm in 1792. The joint mark of Robert Garrard (i) and John Wakelin (fl 1776–1802) was entered in that year. Wakelin was appointed Goldsmith and Jeweller to George III in 1797, and, upon Wakelin’s death, Garrard assumed sole control of the prestigious London-based firm, entering his own mark (rg) that year.

Robert Garrard (ii) (1793–1881), who had also been made a freeman of the Grocers’ Company in 1816, and his two brothers, James (1795–1870) and ...

Article

Elizabeth McMahon and Lourdes Font

(b 1763; d 1829).

French couturier and marchand de modes. LeRoy was the favoured couturier of the Bonaparte family, §2, who was an avid consumer of luxury goods. Originally a hairdresser, LeRoy combined the functions of the 18th-century couturier (dressmaker) and marchande de modes (milliner and stylist), both traditionally women, into a single establishment. His execution of designs by Jean-Baptiste Isabey for the costumes worn at the coronation of Napoleon I and Josephine on 10 December 1804, established his reputation and allowed him to develop an international clientele. His dominance of women’s fashion continued after the fall of the Empire, until his retirement in 1821. LeRoy’s role as an arbiter of taste anticipates that of the great male couturiers of the late19th and 20th centuries.

Little is known of LeRoy’s youth. His father probably worked as a stage-hand at the Paris Opéra, where the younger LeRoy established himself as a hairdresser. He apparently attracted the notice of ...

Article

Lucia Pirzio Biroli Stefanelli

[Niccolò]

(b Rome, Sep 12, 1771; d Rome, Feb 1838).

Italian gem-engraver. He was a member of the Congregazione dei Virtuosi del Pantheon and the Accademia di S Luca (1812). He was renowned for his cameo portraits, preferring the technique to that of intaglio. Particularly noteworthy are the portrait of Francis I, Emperor of Austria (Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.) and the numerous works commissioned by the Bonaparte family. These include a cameo portrait of Marie-Letizia, a cameo with facing portraits of Lucien Bonaparte’s two wives, Cristine Boyer (1773–1800) and Alexandrine Blechamps (1778–1855), another cameo portrait of Alexandrine Blechamps (all Rome, Mus. Napoleonico) and two portrait cameos of Napoleon (Rome, Villa Giulia; ex-Liverpool Mus.), the latter example given by Napoleon and Empress Marie Louise to Marshal Ney and his wife. (For an illustration of another cameo portrait by Morelli of Napoleon.) Morelli created (1807) a well-known parure that was given by Cardinal Joseph Fesch to his half-sister ...

Article

Philip Ward-Jackson

[Jean-Jacques]

(b Geneva, May 23, 1790; d Bougival, June 4, 1852).

Swiss sculptor, painter and composer. Prompted by his early displays of artistic talent, Pradier’s parents placed him in the workshop of a jeweller, where he learnt engraving on metal. He attended drawing classes in Geneva, before leaving for Paris in 1807. By 1811 he was registered at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and subsequently entered its sculpture competitions as a pupil of François-Frédéric, Baron Lemot. A more significant contribution to his artistic formation around this time was the guidance of the painter François Gérard. Pradier won the Prix de Rome in 1813 and was resident at the French Academy in Rome, from 1814 until 1819. On his return to France, he showed at the Salon of 1819 a group Centaur and Bacchante (untraced) and a reclining Bacchante (marble; Rouen, Mus. B.-A.). The latter, borrowing an erotically significant torsion from the Antique Callipygean Venus, opens the series of sensuous Classical female subjects that were to become Pradier’s forte. In ...

Article

English firm of goldsmiths and Jewellers. This celebrated business was probably founded by Henry Hurt (bapt 1697; d 1785), who became a freeman of the Clockmakers’ Company, London, on 3 April 1721. The date of establishment is thought to be 1724–5, as, at that time, Hurt took possession of premises, known from c. 1732 as the ‘Golden Salmon’, in St Paul’s Cathedral Churchyard, London. In 1745, recorded as a goldsmith and toymaker, he moved to new premises, also known as the ‘Golden Salmon’, at Ludgate Hill; he retired in 1757–8. He was succeeded by William Theed I in partnership with his son-in-law, William Pickett (d 1796). Theed retired in 1762, and, about 1767, Pickett was joined by Philip Rundell (1746–1827), who had recently left the firm of William Rogers, a jeweller in Bath, to whom he had been apprenticed in 1760. The name of the firm in London was changed to ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1799; d 1868).

French silversmith, active also in England. After an early career as an independent craftsman specializing in Renaissance revival jewellery, some of which was bought in the belief that it was Renaissance silver. He later joined the Paris firm of François-Désiré Froment-Meurice , for whom his work in the Renaissance style (in collaboration with Jules Wièse (...

Article

Ramón Alfonso Méndez Brignardello

(b Santiago, 1829; d Valparaíso, 1890).

Chilean architect. His father was unknown and his mother a humble laundress who made great efforts in order to educate her son. He began working for a cabinetmaker at the age of 13 and then joined a drawing class for craftsmen at the Instituto Nacional, Santiago. There were few professional architects in Chile at that time, and he was commissioned at the age of 18 to design the Casa de Orates building. Vivaceta Rupio joined the first architecture class of the Frenchman Claude François Brunet-Debaines (1788–1855), who had been contracted by the Chilean government. His fellow pupil Ricardo Brown and he were the first architects to be trained in Chile. As a result of his assiduity and determination, he was selected by Brunet-Debaines to complete outstanding works when the contract expired. Working in the 19th-century Neo-classical tradition, with some gestures towards the neo-Gothic, Vivaceta Rupio rebuilt the towers of several Santiago churches and built several private houses and the church and convent of Carmen Alto. He contributed to repairs to the cathedral of Santiago and collaborated with ...