Medium: Silk velvet, silk, metallic thread
Country: France or England
Credit: Museum purchase
Colorful and decorative garments, like this man's three-piece suit, were considered perfectly “masculine” until the late 18th century, when men began to adopt darker and more sober styles. The reasons for “the great masculine renunciation” are complex, owing much to the rise of the capitalist bourgeoisie and the spread of democracy. But this paradigm shift in male fashion was almost certainly also influenced by the appearance of “fops” and “macaronis” of all social classes, whose sexual ambiguity de-legitimated colorful and decorative aristocratic menswear.
Object Number: 2010.98.1