Whanganuilibrary.com
Normal view MARC view ISBD view

The essence of style : how the French invented high fashion, fine food, chic caf�es, style, sophistication, and glamour / Joan DeJean.

By: DeJean, Joan E [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : Free Press, 2005Description: 303 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0743264134; 9780743264136; 0473264137; 9780473264130; 0743264142; 9780743264143.Subject(s): Louis XIV, King of France, 1638-1715 -- Influence | Louis XIV, King of France, 1638-1715 | France -- Social life and customs -- 17th century | Fashion -- France -- History -- 17th century | Cooking, French -- History -- 17th century | Cooking, French | Fashion | Influence (Literary, artistic, etc.) | Manners and customs | France | Kochen | Mode | Frankreich | Kochen | Lebensstil | Geschichte 1600-1700 | Sozialgeschichte 1600-1700 | 1600-1699Genre/Form: History.DDC classification: 391/.00944/09032 Online resources: Sample text | Table of contents | Contributor biographical information | Publisher description | The Edward W. Lanius Book Fund for Romance Language Collections Home Page
Contents:
Living luxe -- How much is too much? : the rule of celebrity hairdressers -- Fashion queens : the birth of haute couture -- Fashion slaves : marketing la mode -- Cinderella's slipper and the king's boots : shoes, boots, and mules -- From the French cook to cr�eme br�ul�ee : how cooking became haute cuisine -- The world's first high-priced lattes : chic caf�es -- The night they invented champagne : When the bubbly became an overnight sensation -- King of diamonds : diamonds, diamonds, and more diamonds -- Power mirrors : technology in the service of glamour -- Bright lights, big city : from streetlights to nightlife -- Waterproofed walking : the original folding umbrella -- A new kind of shopping : antiques, fine furniture, and interior decoration -- "The most sweetly flowered king" : perfume, cosmetics, and la toilette -- "The most magnificent party possible" : entertaining Versailles style.
Summary: One of the foremost authorities on seventeenth-century French culture provides an account of how, at one glittering moment in history, the French under Louis XIV set the standards of sophistication, style, and glamour that still rule our lives today. DeJean explains how a handsome and charismatic young king with a great sense of style decided to make both himself and his country legendary. When the Sun King's reign began, his nation had no particular association with elegance, yet by its end, the French had become accepted as the world's arbiters in matters of taste and style. DeJean takes us back to the birth of haute cuisine, the first appearance of celebrity hairdressers, chic caf�es, nightlife, and fashion in elegant dress that extended well beyond the limited confines of court circles--and Paris was its magical center. --From publisher description.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
Fiction notes: Click to open in new window
    average rating: 0.0 (0 votes)
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due
Non-Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Non-Fiction
Non-Fiction On Order

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

What makes fashionistas willing to pay a small fortune for a particular designer accessory -- a luxe handbag, for example? Why is it that people all over the world share the conviction that a special occasion only becomes really special when a champagne cork pops -- and even more special when that cork comes from a bottle of Dom Pérignon? Why are diamonds the status symbol gemstone, instantly signifying wealth, power, and even emotional commitment?One of the foremost authorities on seventeenth-century French culture provides the answer to these and other fascinating questions in her account of how, at one glittering moment in history, the French under Louis XIV set the standards of sophistication, style, and glamour that still rule our lives today.Joan DeJean explains how a handsome and charismatic young king with a great sense of style and an even greater sense of history decided to make both himself and his country legendary. When the reign of Louis XIV began, his nation had no particular association with elegance, yet by its end, the French had become accepted all over the world as the arbiters in matters of taste and style and had established a dominance in the luxury trade that continues to this day. DeJean takes us back to the birth of haute cuisine, the first appearance of celebrity hairdressers, chic cafes, nightlife, and fashion in elegant dress that extended well beyond the limited confines of court circles. And Paris was the magical center -- the destination of travelers all across Europe.As the author observes, without the Sun King's program for redefining France as the land of luxury and glamour, there might never have been a Stork Club, a Bergdorf Goodman, a Chez Panisse, or a Cristophe of Beverly Hills -- and President Clinton would never have dreamed of holding Air Force One on the tarmac of LAX for an hour while Cristophe worked his styling genius on the president's hair.Written with wit, dash, and élan by an author who knows this astonishing true story better than virtually anyone, The Essence of Style will delight fans of history and everybody who wonders about the elusive definition of good taste.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 277-286) and index.

Living luxe -- How much is too much? : the rule of celebrity hairdressers -- Fashion queens : the birth of haute couture -- Fashion slaves : marketing la mode -- Cinderella's slipper and the king's boots : shoes, boots, and mules -- From the French cook to cr�eme br�ul�ee : how cooking became haute cuisine -- The world's first high-priced lattes : chic caf�es -- The night they invented champagne : When the bubbly became an overnight sensation -- King of diamonds : diamonds, diamonds, and more diamonds -- Power mirrors : technology in the service of glamour -- Bright lights, big city : from streetlights to nightlife -- Waterproofed walking : the original folding umbrella -- A new kind of shopping : antiques, fine furniture, and interior decoration -- "The most sweetly flowered king" : perfume, cosmetics, and la toilette -- "The most magnificent party possible" : entertaining Versailles style.

One of the foremost authorities on seventeenth-century French culture provides an account of how, at one glittering moment in history, the French under Louis XIV set the standards of sophistication, style, and glamour that still rule our lives today. DeJean explains how a handsome and charismatic young king with a great sense of style decided to make both himself and his country legendary. When the Sun King's reign began, his nation had no particular association with elegance, yet by its end, the French had become accepted as the world's arbiters in matters of taste and style. DeJean takes us back to the birth of haute cuisine, the first appearance of celebrity hairdressers, chic caf�es, nightlife, and fashion in elegant dress that extended well beyond the limited confines of court circles--and Paris was its magical center. --From publisher description.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

Not only do French women not get fat, they've led the world in style for the past 300 years. French historian DeJean's premise is simple yet wonderfully effective: largely because of one obsessive spendthrift, Louis XIV, France, in the late 17th century, became the arbiter of chic, a position from which it has never since faltered. Louis's outrageous vanity, sumptuous court and devotion to his own well-being led to growth in the manufacturing of fine clothing and shoes, and the invention of shops in which to buy them, and to celebrity cuisine, cafes and Champagne (a particularly amusing-and explosive-chapter). Louis was enthralled by glitter, which fostered a huge increase in the diamond trade; the theft of the Venetians' mirror-making secrets and subsequent rise of France as world leader in that field; and the first night streetlights (hence the "City of Lights"). Louis also abhorred mud (so streets were paved with cobblestones) and disliked getting wet (thus umbrellas were invented). This engaging history "lite"-to be published on Bastille Day-is a fun read despite its many Sex in the City references. Photos, illus. Agent, Alice Martell. (July 14) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-DeJean gives readers an entertaining and engrossing account of how and when France cornered the market on luxury. Beginning with a description of what life was like before Louis XIV ascended the throne in 1643, she then details the radical changes that occurred as he and his ministers redirected French manufactures toward the creation of new luxury items. Each of the various subjects she discusses has its own chapter that can stand alone; taken together they show how desire for style created new products and markets. Louis's sumptuous, constantly redesigned wardrobe was copied by his court. The interest in the elegant new styles led to the development of the fashion press. The magazines with their engravings (the original fashion plates) enthralled the common people, who wanted their own bit of glamour. The manufacture of luxury accessories allowed almost everyone to feel like a fashionista. Since women needed somewhere to show off their stylish clothes, the dark, smoky coffeehouses were replaced by elegant, glittering cafes with fine coffee and exquisite pastries. Teens who gather in modern cafes, flip through fashion magazines, and purchase designer bags will enjoy this book. They will also discover that Madison Avenue has nothing on 17th-century Paris.-Kathy Tewell, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

The first hairdresser, the first celebrity chef, and the first bubbly. The list is almost endless. And according to DeJean, professor and French historian, the French supremacy in all things luxe started in the seventeenth century by command (mostly) of the Sun King, Louis XIV. By sleight of research, she fascinates, cajoles, and intrigues with little-known facts and figures, weaving stories inside and out each topic, from fashion, shoes, and coiffeurs to streetlights, cafes, and mirrors. Examples include the first truly French apparel design debuting in the 1670s in the shape of a simple kimono called a mantua, the king's shoe addiction fed by a craftsman named Lestage, and, a century later, Jean-Honore Fragonard's Swing capturing the nation's fascination with footwear. And, yes, the humble folding umbrella was birthed in 1709, a six-ouncer invented by Jean Marius--and today an ubiquitous accessory. An unusual and delightfully educational perspective on snob appeal. --Barbara Jacobs Copyright 2005 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

An obsequiously titled but ultimately compelling study of the legacy of Louis XIV's reign. Once past the gloppy generalizations that try needlessly to snare the interest of nonscholars by dropping insipid anachronisms like "ladies who lunched" and "interior decoration's ultimate bling-bling," DeJean (French/Univ. of Pennsylvania) provides an intelligent, well-documented history of the luxury items taken for granted today that have also defined the culture of France. Essentially, the long, glorious rule of the Sun King, from 1660 to 1715, "unleashed desires that now seem fundamental" and inaugurated a program for redefining France as the land of luxury and glamour, often through a ruthless cornering of the market. As Louis's obsession with style created the desire for fantastically luxurious goods, such as shoes, hosiery, diamonds and mirrors, his wily protectionist prime minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, worked with the business elite to ensure that France would become a mercantile superpower. The profession of the coiffeur, for example, seems to have been single-handedly invented by le sieur Champagne, whose unique touch with aristocratic hairdos instigated the first "brand recognition." DeJean examines the important tool of the "fashion plates," literally engravings, that served to advertise the luxurious new goods to the public, while Donneau de Vise's newspaper, Le Mercure galant, became the first fashion organ aimed at provincial women dreaming of becoming as chic as the great ladies of Versailles. La Varenne brought butter and vegetables into the kitchen; cafes sprang up to serve the new coffee beverage and provide people with somewhere to go in a city newly lighted by state-of-the-art lanterns; and champagne, thanks to the tireless trial-and-error of the cellar master of Hautvillers, Dom Perignon, exploded on the scene. DeJean does a superb job of rendering comprehensible the new technology of mirror-making, while she relegates to a footnote, unfortunately, the ascendancy during this period of the classical French language. Readers low and high will find this a winning companion, with excellent sources. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.