Learn About The History of Fashion From The Shady Ladies

Learn About The History of Fashion From The Shady Ladies


Courtesy of The Shady Ladies Tour


The Shady Ladies Tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will launch a new tour, the Fashion and Beauty tour of the Metropolitan, Oct. 14th. Featured as one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things” this summer, the Shady Ladies' newest addition will address the changing concept of beauty, and the astonishing efforts both women and men have made to achieve it.  From pre-Columbian nose rings to powdered wigs, this tour is about history’s fabulously beautiful people, and how they got that way.  The quest for flawless beauty has always been mankind’s obsession; let the Shady Ladies Tour put it in perspective for you!


This tour is about everything glamorous. From the grand hairdos of Imperial Rome to the outrageous wigs of the court at Versailles; from gold ear spools in pre-Columbian America to neck rings in Africa and Southeast Asia; and from three hundred years of torturous corsets to three thousand years of gorgeous cosmetics, the history of fashion is on dazzling display at the Met. You’ll discover the history of fashion from head to toe, as well as inside out—just what did Victorian women wear underneath those giant hoops? Men’s fashion will also deconstructed—their powdered wigs, white makeup, foppish ruffs and of course those ridiculous codpieces.

You’ll also go beneath the surface to get to the real story: the political, social, and even medical currents that shaped fashion and how it changed. Why did French courtiers wear foot-high wigs in the 17th century? Were beauty spots really used to cover up syphilis? And how did bicycles affect the way women dressed in the closing years of the 19th century? On this fun and informative tour, you’ll find out the answers to these and many more fascinating questions about fashion and beauty. Above all, we’ll come to see that fashion is one of the art’s biggest topics—not only for what it tells us about changing standards of beauty, but also for what it reveals about the astonishing lengths to which people will go to attain it.

So come enjoy the beauty of the Met’s stylish sitters—and learn how the obsession with beauty is as old as civilization itself.


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