Beyond The Trend: Bourgeois

Beyond The Trend: Bourgeois

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Fashion houses such as Hermès, Burberry, and Tod’s have seen a resurgence of bourgeois style, marked by a well-balanced hybrid between restrained (but not always) gaudiness and refined country club chic. Derived from the French term bourgeoisie–literally translating to “members of the middle class” and most notably appearing in Karl Marx’s philosophy–the trend presents an elevated take on minimalist dressing. It’s the aesthetic that Celine mastered in the ’70s, and that Hedi Slimane has reinterpreted for the French label today. The style often manifests itself as fur coats, button ups, tailored overcoats and suits, neck scarves, ruffles, top hats, and tweed. And with cooler temperatures (hopefully) around the corner, it’s safe to say that bourgeois style will find a cozy spot in any fall wardrobe. CR delves into the history behind this well-polished but arguably anti-Marxist trend.

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Valentino Fall/Winter 1998

For the Italian fashion house’s Fall/Winter 1998 show, a model wore a cropped trench coat complete with fur cuffs and large golden earrings.

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Grace Kelly

Hollywood icon and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly sports both a massive Hermès handbag and oversized sunglasses at the Formentor Hotel in Majorca.

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Belle Du Jour

Luis Buñuel directed the iconic French film rife with bourgeois style. In the film, actress Catherine Deneuve plays Séverine, a sultry French housewife grappling with her sexuality.

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Charlotte Rampling

In the early 1970s, the English actress and model poses as “Venus In Furs” in a gaudy Bally fur coat for famed photographer Helmut Newton.

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Thom Browne Fall/Winter 2019

A detail shot from Thom Browne’s Fall/Winter 2019 show. Note the mixed suiting prints and tailored pieces.

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Chanel Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2001

This look from Chanel Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2001 features a pleated skirt, and matching hat and tie-front blouse combo.

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Circa 1919, a woman walks her dog in patent buckle shoes, sculpted hat, and a long overcoat.

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Agnès B. Fall/Winter 2011

A look from the Agnès B. Fall/Winter 2011 show incorporating blazers, buckle shoes, and neck ties.

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Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

The English model left her apartment in a houndstooth checked coat and leather thigh-high slit skirt last February.

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French Theatre

An 1868 sketch of the character Monsieur Jourdain from the French drama Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme by Jean Baptiste de Molière.

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CELINE Fall/Winter 2019

Ornately tied scarves served as ruffled bibs throughout the Celine Fall/Winter 2019 show, which was full of bourgeois style.

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Naomi Watts

The Mulholland Drive actress was spotted in a herringbone skirt and long overcoat while out and about in New York in September 2016.

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Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Known for her colorful coordinating suit sets and penchant for gloves, Kennedy’s wardrobe was truly emblematic of American bourgeois style.

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Chanel Fall/Winter 1994

Kate Moss sports a top hat, blazer, and sweeping gray skirt at the Chanel Fall/Winter 1994 show.

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Gossip Girl

Leighton Meester’s Gossip Girl character, Blair Waldorf, was an expert in bourgeois dressing. Here, she is pictured in a Milly cardigan, David Szeto top, and Jennifer Behr headband.

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A woman models the buttoned-up bourgeois fashion of the early 1930s.

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Hermès Fall/Winter 2019

A knit turtleneck is layered with a matching hunter green overcoat and calf length skirt in the Hermès Fall/Winter 2019 collection.

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Street Style

A street style snap from London Fashion Week in September 2011 shows how to layer the bourgeois way.

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Prada Fall/Winter 1990

Linda Evangelista takes the Prada Fall/Winter 1990 runway in a monochromatic ensemble, including a jacket with a fur collar.

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Early Parisian Fashion

A French woman from the early 1900s models the style of the moment: ruffled sleeves and collars, long skirts, extraordinary hats, and tightly tailored overcoats.

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Princess Diana

The ever-stylish Princess of Wales in a matching green tweed suit with a white blouse and tie in Italy, 1985.

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Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2001

One of the frontrunners of bourgeois style, Yves Saint Laurent sent models down the runway in waist cinching ensembles complete with matching hats at the Haute Couture show.

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Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2019

Earlier this year at the Louvre, this model walked the Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2019 runway in a cinched plaid blazer and ruffled button up.

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Country Clubs

A 1965 Oleg Cassini fashion show put on at the Cherry Hills Country Club attracted a bevy of bourgeois dressers.

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Proenza Schouler Fall/Winter 2019

This model wore a navy blazer over a pleated, muted blue skirt at the Proenza Schouler Fall/Winter 2019 show.

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A 1967 photo of young Cher posing next to a velvet chair in an all-consuming fur coat and an opulent ring.

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Givenchy Fall/Winter 2019

Dramatic ruffles and cropped blazers were paired together at the Givenchy Fall/Winter 2019 show.

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Christian Dior

A model sports one of Christian Dior’s signature double breasted tweed suits, circa 1950s.

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Fendi Fall/Winter 2018

Kaia Gerber wears a luxe fur coat and plaid, pleated wool skirt at the Fendi Fall/Winter 2018 show.

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