19th century fashionistas, how fashion made woman smarter

A few beautiful engravings from the 19th century european fashion magazine “Journal des Demoiselles” are for sale in the shop. These antique fashion prints are highly collectable and can be considered to be “little works of art”. A huge amount of money and effort was spend to make these prints visually appealing to early 19th century woman. The goal was to communicate the latest trends in fashion to them. These prints, aside from being lovely, also have a fantastic historical worth and a story to tell!

Female empowerment.

The educational development of women have come a long way since “Journal des Demoiselles”, “Modes de Paris”, “Le Journal de la Beauté” , “Le Petit Echo de la Mode” and many other fashion magazines began publicizing their content. The heart of the early 19th fashion industry was seated in Paris, couturiers and fashion houses paid good money to have their fashion drawn up so they could be processed into engravings with the purpose of reproduction of the prints. The prints were often sold to other countries in Europe, as well as the United States. The magazines had branches operating in major capitals around the world.
Since the clients of the emerging fashion industry were mostly female, sellers had to visually excel in the graphics to be able to get their message across to the illiterate women of those days.
Early nineteenth century mothers and wives were not expected to be able to read and write. But next to that, it was considered socially inappropriate for woman to be educated on topics like money and politics.  Fashion magazines, with lots of beautiful eye catching pictures, gradually became the first acceptable “reading” material for ladies. Fashion was an agreeable topic in higher social circles which made these magazines a stepping stone in aiding the literariness of woman.



Black and white copper engraving from the magazine Journal des Demoiselles 1866 mother and her children in carnival fashion costumes

Journal des Demoiselles 1866