La Belle Epoque

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9780300201062: La Belle Epoque

The idea of the Belle Époque emerged in the last half of the nineteenth century from the dream and the reality of the grandiose plans of Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann for the transformation of Paris. Paris was the center of the action. No city has ever been so well arranged to receive the world and, indeed, it did. Czars, emperors, kings, maharajahs, and princes; the gratin and the nouveaux riches; heiresses and Middle European bankers; anarchists and apaches—all the world rubbed shoulders and filed in and out of this splendid and glorious city. "The City of Light"—the dappled shadows of chestnut trees on the broad boulevards and seemingly endless avenues—splendid horses, shining and glamorous, with their owners sitting in exquisite carriages displaying audacious faces and pretty parasols—outdoor cafés and lovely restaurants surrounded by forests in the Bois de Boulogne—"the Bois" where children were taken for tea dressed in lace and velvet and where famous demi-mondaines, pretty cocottes, grandes dames, and the rich men who maintained them flocked in the evening amid the splendor of perfumed furs, long gloves, and huge hats. Remember that this was the time when women first dined in restaurants and, as they were in public, they always wore hats. So much was happening.

The Belle Époque catalogue accompanied a 1982 exhibition of the same name mounted by The Costume Institute at The Metropoiltan Museum of Art. The catalogue includes an essay by Philippe Jullian and illustrations selected by Diana Vreeland. [This book was originally published in 1982 and has gone out of print. This edition is a print-on-demand version of the original book.]

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Julian, Philippe/ Vreeland, Diana
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Philippe Julian; Diana Vreeland
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