1802 The Perron of the Palais-Royal, Paris, France.
A ‘perron’ is a staircase on the outside of a building
with a platform or balcony-type structure leading to the entrance of the building.
Despite his colorful clothing, this gentleman is dressed in the style of ‘Anglicizing’, or copying English Gentlemen’s fashions. This fashion began as way for the bourgeois to turn their backs on French aristocracy and their undemocratic ideals and formality and instead base their fashion style on the more relaxed clothing of the English gentleman of the time.
Men’s dress became more simple and somber, as demonstrated by the darkly clad gentlemen in the foreground.
The dominant masculine social ideal shifted away from the idle aristocrat to a more austere and ‘proper’ gentleman.
Illustrations by François Courboin from Octave Uzanne‘s Les Modes de Paris. Variations du goût et de l’esthétique de la femme, 1797-1897, L. Henry May, Paris, 1898, or from the English translation of the same work: Fashion in Paris : the various phases of feminine taste and aesthetics from 1797 to 1897, William Heinemann, London, 1898.