À la mode française. Style, models and milliners for the Countesses Thun
Introduced by the cinnabar red of an elegant afternoon dress, this exhibition - organized in collaboration with the Provincial archive Office of the Cultural Heritage Directorate of the Autonomous Province of Trento - focuses on that particular sector of the Thun family book collection dedicated to the illustrated fashion magazines of the nineteenth century. They were very successful in the dissemination of taste, offered a detailed and articulated panorama of female elegance, which considered Paris as the centre of haute couture. With their large-format pages, rich in images, La mode illustrée, La mode française and La Novità offered readers models for clothes, accessories and embroidery, with instructions for reproducing them, as well as headings on domestic economy and worldliness, which anticipate formulas later taken up by women's magazines of the twentieth century. The most luxurious editions included attached colour plates, which Carolina Arsio Thun and her daughters kept in a beautiful collection, which has remained hidden until now, and in which the great world of the French capital reverberates.
They are charming etchings, woodcuts and watercolour lithographs that, from 1857 to 1900 retrace the evolution of style, in a fashion show on paper of clothes for distant spring-summer seasons. A variety of styles and settings follow each other, and accompanied the rituals and occasions of social life in the elite places of modernity: receptions, promenade, holiday, horse races, train journey, steamship crossings. In a more intimate and less worldly dimension, the sophisticated dictates of fashion are translated into the sober and refined elegance of the young countesses Thun, who posed in front of the photographer, revealing their predilection for embroidery, to be performed on the trail of colorful models.
(Translation by Denis Cova, Sophie M. Scholl Language High School, Trento - “School and Work Project”)