Today an informative post about the development of French needlelaces! As I previously defined it, needlelace is lace made by embroidering with a needle rather than braiding with bobbins or crocheting or knitting. During the reign of Louis XIV (the Sun King), the French government made a deliberate investment in lacemaking, as part of a wide-ranging plan to become Europe's center for luxury goods, fashion, and taste. They had stiff competition in all those fields: the Italians and Dutch were already Europe's sourcebook and marketplace for luxury goods. In particular, as relates to lace, the bobbin laces of the Netherlands were fantastically expensive and popular. But the needlelace of Italy was also prestigious; Italy developed needlelace from its history of drawn thread work and reticella, and by the 1600's the Italian gros point de Venise, which was sculptural and meant to look like carved ivory, was the needlelace to beat. The French set out to beat it.
Being no movie buff, I don't ever watch the Academy Awards, but afterward, I love to look at the "best and worst dressed" lists. I roll my eyes at the more tedious trends and ooh and ah over the beautiful gowns. Every now and then there's even an interesting suit among the men. Last year's highlight was Brie Larson in a black velvet gown by Oscar de la Renta that was a clear homage to Madame X's gown in John Singer Sargent's scandalous 1884 portrait! Beautiful!
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