Clashing political clothes, French Revolution style

From a fascinating exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, “Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail 1700-1915.” These are the actual clothes worn at the time, not reproductions.

Deliberately ostentatious finery worn by aristocrats opposed to the French Revolution

Working class style vest with slogans worn by aristocrats favoring the French Revolution

Aristocrats who opposed the French Revolution while it was happening wore deliberately elegant clothes, that flaunted their wealth and thus expressed contempt for the revolution, as in the first photo. Those among the wealthy classes who championed the revolution wore much less finery, as in the second photo, which is a vest with revolutionary slogans on it.

Partisans on both sides carried the huge canes, known as Hercules clubs, to ward off attacks.

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