Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion

Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion is a sumptuously illustrated and richly detailed catalog of enormous appeal to anyone interested in fashion, lifestyle, the history of costume and applied arts. Thanks to a prestigious private collection, this book explains how from the Napoleonic era onwards, the clothing of men, women and children acquired a social, cultural, and economic importance it had never had before in the history of the Western world.

Dress evolved year after year. It reflected historical and political events, industrial advances and technical development, influences of the arts and culture, and the taste of the rich and powerful. This unique catalog presents more than 100 perfectly preserved and restored articles of clothing, including day dresses, bridal and evening gowns, embroidered slips and petticoats, shawls and cloaks, men’s jackets and topcoats, walking sticks, and scarves and collars, all teamed with shoes, handbags, hats, and costume jewelry.

The video below showcases the fashions displayed in the Milan exhibition, Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion in 2010. The exhibition featured over fifty mannequins meticulously dressed in genuine costume, accessories and jewelry complemented by contemporary prints and objects from the period 1795-1815. Be sure to utilize the “Full Screen” button in the lower right corner of the video to view the fashions in up-close detail.

Photos of the collection can also be viewed here. Information to purchase the catalog, “Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion 1795-1815” in Europe can be found here or in the United States here.

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