Fashion plates, like fashion magazines (and some corners of instagram…) today, sell not only aspirational fashions, but also aspirational lifestyles.
There is a series of Costume Parisien fashion plates, stretching from the 1790s to 1820, that shows an fashionable lifestyle that I can very much see myself ascribing too…
I call it Regency Ladies Reading*.
1810-11 was by far the high point of the style. The fashion illustrator hit on a post he liked, and built numerous outfits, all modelled by ladies intent on their literature, around it.
*Somewhat inaccurately, because the fashion plates originated in France, and some predate the English Regency. I suppose I could call it ‘Empire Ladies Enlarging Their Minds’….