Monday, February 17, 2014

Historical Moulin Rouge

So as I said I went down the rabbit hole a bit in researching 1890s neck ribbons and in the process I stumbled across a wonderful website of photographic portraits of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec's models.  I found it fascinating to see what the models looked like in real life, both in terms of the costumes the Moulin Rouge performers and can-can dancers actually wore, and how his paintings managed to capture the essence of their characters. 



So many of them are so covered up compared to what we'd consider risque or burlesque today - often wearing a full coverage, high necked bodice (and even hats!) and only revealing in that they showed off their bloomers with those high kicks and splits.  Incidentally, I'd often heard that the reason that the can-can was so scandalous was their drawers had split crotches but at least in the photos I've seen so far that is not the case.


Be forewarned though, the site may not be safe for work as there is some nudity on it.  Many of these images as well as others I found in 1890s French advertizing posters can be found on my Pinterest here.


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