Opulent Art: 18th-Century Dress from The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection
Ladies and gentlemen living in 18th–century Europe dressed opulently. The designing, producing, and wearing of fashion was elevated to an art form. Luxurious silks, handmade laces, and precious metal trimmings were de riguer for those aligned with royal courts and attending state theatres. In this exhibition are displayed lavish garments and accessories spanning the century, including a rare “Figaro” costume worn by an actor portraying the rascal servant in Beaumarchais´s famed opera trilogy. The stories of this character´s hijinks undermining his aristocratic employer sparked revolutionary tensions with real life rulers, who tried unsuccessfully to ban the popular productions.