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In the eighteenth century fashion had a strong influence on the French. Colbert explained this well when he said "Fashion is to France what the mines of Peru are to Spain". In the eighteenth century, fashion in France reflected social and political attitudes, the arts, and of course, the wealth and social class of the people.

The eighteenth century brought a new king and a new hope to France: Louis XV and a period of gaiety succeeded to the rigid, solemn and bereaved end of the reign of Louis XIV. On the accession of the king, the heaviness and the black colors of the preceding period disappeared, and were replaced by pastels, light, and a certain freedom of mind. It was the period of the Regency and the Rococo.

The mistresses of the new king (from 1736), his feminine tastes and his love of entertainment, influenced the culture of time. The arts, theater, architecture and fashion were affected. With the licentiousness of the regent, then the youth of the king also came to a sense of freedom and a joie de vivre that were reflected in the fashion of the time. At court, a certain frivolity developed. The policy and administration of the country were forgotten by the nobility and the king. The affairs of the country were abandoned to the middle class, while the nobles and royalty pursued the entertainment and pleasure. The remoteness of the government, combined with a new skepticism, dismissed the styles of traditional male fashion; In the transition from Baroque to Rococo, this change has brought elegant, gentle, and feminine styles. Soft fabrics and floral patterns have gained popularity.

Everywhere at this time, the styles of clothes became less charged while the fabrics became more precious. The silhouettes became more natural and less voluminous, and the colors began to shine towards the Rococo style. The styles for both sexes found a simple compliance.

Echoing the government, the clothes of the women of that time adopted a more informal fashion. The shapes of the dresses became more natural. As for men, it was not by their form but by their tissues that the clothing of rich women differed from that of modest women.

During the greater part of the eighteenth century women wore floating gowns. They had skirts amply draped over baskets. The silhouette of the women who wore them looked like a large bell with a very small waist and wide hips. Most of the dresses were low-cut, pointed. Under each dress the women put on a whale body and petticoats. The corsets were essential to obtain a small size and to maintain the shape of the bodices, and the petticoats helped to support the baskets under the skirts. Watteau's folds covered the backs of the cloaks, and a train completed these elegant dresses. In 1740, the silhouette of the dresses was transformed. The baskets have grown around the hips, the skirts starting to look like boxes. Just before this infatuation disappeared, the size of some of these dresses reached four meters. But after this brief fad, the more natural forms have returned.

This fashion of imposing dresses and inconvenient to present oneself in society will bring the appearance of the neglected in order to put on a comfortable attire at home.

Until 1720, the fashion is in the coppe fontange consisting of a cap furnished with a form of wire high enough composed of several degrees lined with muslin, ribbons, flowers and feathers.

The hair does not cut any more, we even add hairpieces to win the bouffant. Many accessories (flowers, birds, dolls, animals, etc.) add to the hairstyle to express the tastes of the wearer. They also powder themselves in order to be white.

They sometimes carry a laissez-faire-all that is an ornate apron that is worn by elegance. This is the fashion of parasols. The shoes are shoes or mules in silk with very high heels.

Like Louis XV, rich women used luxurious fabrics for their dresses. Satin, taffeta, velvet, and silks were popular, and the dresses were often covered with flowery embroidery, in the feminine style of the Rococo. The bourgeoises used cotton and wool and they put stiff petticoats instead of baskets. The detail and the jewels were lacking in the robes of peasants, but the fundamental form remained the same. Without exception, everyone tries to be fashionable. Rich people, even peasants, imitated the styles of the king and his court.

Social classes certainly influenced fashion in the eighteenth century, but fashion also influenced social classes.