Friday, December 12, 2008

Henri Boutet and his Ladies

Today I bit the bullet and started my Christmas shopping.  With three grown daughters who save their big ticket wants for the holidays in hopes that Santa comes through, my list is short, sweet and un peu cher.  Three grown nieces get gift cards or a check and the tiniest one of all, my 18 month old niece, has my undivided shopping attention.  Pajamas and sparkly outfits with little matching brocade slippers and toys and books--I forgot how much I miss having little ones in my world. When I have grandchildren (girls, seriously I can wait!) watch out. 

Went totally off topic for a moment.  

Henri Boutet.  I just discovered him this afternoon while I was mindlessly searching the web for any one of a number of things that had nothing to do with him but voila, he is now in my consciousness.  Born in 1851, Monsieur Boutet was a skillful lithographer and designer who concentrated his efforts on bringing the "Belle Epoque" woman to life in delicately colored etchings.  Illustrations depicting turn of the century French women moving about in their daily world around the city of Paris becomes a veritable 'defile' of fashion popular in that era. Throughout his works, he captures 'La Parisienne' in all her feminine, coquettish beauty.  The young woman above looks to be taking a stroll in the Esplanade des Invalides with the Eiffel Tower and Grand Palais in the background, knowing exactly how fabulous she is.  Below, a woman braves the elements looking far more elegant than I do in my puffy coat and moon boots. Oh, I wish this was my outfit today.  Alas, 'La Chicago-enne' isn't quite as magnificent in winter. 

He also created a catalog, Les Modes des Femines du XIX Siecle, catalouging fashion from 1801-1900.  

If we were shopping for a special little somthin' somthin' for all our sparkly holiday events in 1815 we might come home with this little number:

A year later, this would be all the rage:

I love them both.  I do believe I am living in the wrong era.  The past is always tugging at me--sure there are things I'd miss from the present. Convenience.  But if I didn't know it ever existed then I guess it just wouldn't matter would it?  Too much of a romantic for my own good.

Additional information:   Georgina Kelman

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1 comment:

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Par excellant travail de Henri Boutet.Excellent work by Henri Boutet!!