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Fashion illustrations on display at Dublin library
Oct '13
courtesy: Chester Beatty Library
courtesy: Chester Beatty Library
More than 150 fashion illustrations from one of the earliest French fashion magazines ‘Journal des Dames et des Modes’ are on display at an exhibit in Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ireland.
The event titled ‘Costumes Parisiens, fashion plates’ includes the famed fashion plates, a kind of pen, ink and watercolour sketch, demonstrating the major highlights of fashionable clothing from a particular era, on handmade paper printed with an engraved copper plate.
Artworks from celebrated illustrators like Charles Martin, George Barbier, Léon Bakst, the designer behind the Ballet Russes costume designs, and Bernard Boutet de Monvel, who created men’s clothes for couturier Paul Poiret, will be featured at the event, which will run through March, 2014.
Primarily dedicated to women’s fashion, the fashion plates show female forms in various poses, highlighting their casual daywear and elegant evening gowns in slender silhouettes and vibrant colours.
Prompted by his fashion-conscious wife Edith Dunn, the Irish-American mining magnate Alfred Chester Beatty had bought the prized Journal des Dames et des Modes fashion plates collection sometime in 1912.
First created in 1797, the Journal des Dames et des Modes also featured society columns, poetic texts, anecdotal observations, book and theatre reviews and fashion reports.
In early 1910s, when haute couture became an increasingly important part of the French fashion industry, fashion plates became miniature masterpieces, advertising the latest creations designed or inspired by the best Parisian couturiers, who were inspired by Orientalism and contemporary art movements like Art Nouveau and Cubism.

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