Shopping in Paris

“Common creatures, in other cities, dress to live, but in Paris people live to dress.” Charles Dickens, 1867

And with this quote, our journey begins into the world of Parisian fashion circa1850-1925, a time when well to do American women went en masse to Paris to obtain the latest fashions. The exhibit “Shopping in Paris” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is a wonderful time machine into the past and into the minds of fashion conscious women of the day.

Women of the past enjoyed luxurious fabrics, fur trims, and beautiful textiles. On one hand, not too much has changed today in that fashion conscious women still value high quality over mass produced works of inferior quality. However, much of the romanticism of that era is gone (only a few priviliged women still travel to Paris to hand pick their clothes for the forthcoming season). But thanks to exhibits like this, we won’t forget the way it was.

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