Pingat Evening Gown c. 1895

Black silk velvet; This two-piece dress is a magnificent example of the haute couture in fin-de-siècle France. The New Eve envisioned by certain Decadents might have worn a dress like this, with its pattern of apples in black cut velvet. The iconography of forbidden fruit project suggests that Woman is a sinfully expensive and desirable object, and projects an image of the fashionable woman as externalized surface without organic interiority. Like the dandy, the fashionable woman was a creature outside nature and beyond gender.

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