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‘Impressionism, Fashion, & Modernity’

“Impressionism, Fashion, & Modernity” (Art Institute of Chicago) is a big gorgeous companion to an exhibition with the same title that will travel in 2013 from Paris to New York and Chicago. It focuses on the important role of fashion in the works of Monet, Renoir, and other Impressionist artists during the late 1800s when Paris was the style capital of the world. At that time, dressmakers and women who owned sewing machines recreated the fashions depicted by Impressionist painters. The book presents some 80 major Impressionist paintings and the period costumes they popularized. A dozen essays look at a number of related developments, including the rise of department stores, ready-made clothing, and fashion magazines.

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