napoleonic, fashion


Uniform and Sword of General Jacques-Zacharie Destaing of the French Army dated between 1801-1802 on display at the Musée de l'Armée in Paris

Destaing spent his early army career fighting in Europe first in the National Guard in Aurillac, Auvergne (1789) and then going on to fight in Spain and Italy (1793-96). But it was when he joined the Army of the Orient in 1798 led by the Consul Napoleon Bonaparte to fight the Mamluks in Egypt. 

It was during this campaign he led soldiers in the Battle of the Pyramids where the the French Republic destroyed the Mamluk and the Ottoman armies. On the battlefield he was promoted to General of Brigade by the First Consul Napoleon himself.


If you’re lucky enough to be in Paris sometime between 5 July 2017 and 7 January 2018 you should go to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, since there’s a Dior retrospective (the first one held at the museum since 1987!) with a collection of couture dresses by all the creative minds that have been the creative head of the House of Dior: Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, John Galliano, Raf Simons, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Gianfranco Ferré.

And this dress (the one at the top of the post) by Gianfranco Ferré made me think about the many historical references that couture collections usually take inspiration from. Here a little collection around the Palladio dress.

Images from top:

  1. Palladio dress, Gianfranco Ferré for Christian Dior, Haute Couture Spring Summer 1992, Dior Héritage. Photo by Nicholas Alan Cope for Les Arts Décoratifs.
  2. Court dress worn by Empress Joséphine, early 19th century.
  3. “Portrait of Marie Louise of Austria, Wife of Napoleon and Empress of France”, 1812, Robert Lefevre.
  4. Fashion Plate (Evening Dress), early 19th century, Rudolph Ackermann, LACMA.
  5. Round Gown, ca. 1795, Europe, LACMA.

can we just all take a moment to appreciate that esmé thought it necessary to wear two (2) hats at café salmonella? 

(icons not mine; property of @lavignelesba)