In the eye of chantal dagommer the directoire dress
In the eye of Chantal Dagommer: the Directoire dress
Strewn with treasures, Chantal Dagommer's stand plunges us into the heart of the fashion trends of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries ... Among the laces, Haute Couture pieces and men's vests in silk, throne a Directoire dress, veil of daring and romanticism.
“Today I present to you a dress with a train in hand-embroidered cotton muslin. The lightness of the fabric and the train suggest that it was probably a ceremonial dress for an official lunch in the middle of the summer ... Dated 1798, this piece perfectly reflects the Incroyables & les Merveilleuses, a fashion trend of the Directoire period. In opposition to the austerity that the Terror had established, the Incredible and the Marvelous favored extravagance.
The high chest is characteristic of this dress. The marking will descend slightly to the Empire to finally reach above the waist around 1820. Women often wore these dresses with long breeches, "forgetting" the undersides. It was finally Napoleon, when he was first consul, who demanded that women at court be less "indecent" and wear more formal attire.
This beautiful dress was brought to me by a seasoned Empire collector and I think it would fit perfectly in a museum. Despite some wear, signs of its fragility, it could also be worn in a period film, for an exceptional scene. The costume designers of major productions also regularly buy 18th century pieces from me to enhance a static scene.
I keep in mind a famous portrait of Madame Tallien, or Theresia Cabarrus, by Baron François Gérard wearing this kind of sleeveless dress, very rare for the time. Portrait notably presented in 2005 at the Carnavalet Museum exhibition “Au temps des Merveilleuses”. I find the provocative aspect of this piece very interesting, a reflection of history and a symbol of freedom… ”