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Happy Bastille Day from Les Incroyables et Merveilleuses

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The storming of the Bastille was on July 14, 1789, and while the Incroyables and Merveilleuses don’t really emerge for another 3 years, I’m sure they would have loved and approved of a good fortress storming. After the Reign of Terror ended a subculture revolving around the decadence of entertainment and pleasure emerged. The Incroyables and Merveilleuses were a huge part of this scene and were truly the first punks; their fashion was completely radical as well as their ideals. The women would dress in sheer, empire waist gowns that they would wet so that the fabric would cling to their bodies. The men were over-the-top dandies with distinctive coats that had high collars, wide reveres and tight sleeves. They carried sticks they called their “executive power” that they would hit people with at will. Before punk got studded, it was quite sophisticated.

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  • You are quite right! I’m a teacher of Fashion Phenomena, and I was searching for pictures of Incroyables and Merveilleuses to explain that theory about them being punk and I stumbled on your blog.

    cheers!

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