As we well know, fashion is always evolving and we are noticing it more than ever during these weeks, when designers show us trends and evolutions that will influence the following seasons. Furthermore, Paris has always been the world capital of fashion, where everything was born and everything evolved with time. But when was fashion as we know it born? When did clothing become so important and relevant for women (and men)? There is no specific date. Ever since the Middle Ages, in fact, clothes distinguished social classes and economic power, but the 18th century could be seen as the turning point, the time when the deepest renovation took place. An important change that began socially. Women were in fact not only ladies-in-waiting, they began to hang out in the outside world, going to theatres, cafes and lounges. Women were more free and indulged in plunging necklines, naked forearms and luxurious fabrics. A freedom that is although only apparent, since their figure remains still caged in rigid structures called paniers, some sort of underskirt made of slats held together by ribbons that gave the dress an oval and wide shape. Extremely lavish, amplified by hairstyles (or wigs) and featuring feather decorations, pearls and the use of seduction tricks as the fake moles on the face or décolletage. The 18th century woman is more feminine, aware and confident; she is interested in her appearance, in fashion and current trends. Suffice to think of the style icons of this time: Marie Antoinette and Madame de Pompadour…they are those that most reflect the magic of that time.

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