Josephine Now

Crisis sometimes brings surprising changes. What will life be like when the Coronavirus is controlled? Thinking about it brings to mind the Empress Josephine. Long before she met Napoleon, her world was turned upside down by the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. But she survived to become one of Les Merveilleuses (the Marvelous Oneswho scandalized yet fascinated all of Paris with their daring style. The empire look was born as they tossed away their corsets and wore transparent Greek gowns over bare skin. The style lives on. Jane’s Vanity has some marvelous examples.

Morpho + Luna created the empire Chloe gown to be interpreted in a variety of ways. The sunny sandwashed Chloe in Gold Silk is classic “Josephine.” Wear your hair in ringlets (and imagine the empire sandal tied with strings of pearls). Or be molded into a Tom Gallant print: the dark still-life of the Chloe Floral or the mythological dream of the Chloe Seaforest. 

Vannina Vesperini presents a traditional empire with Vegetal Gown in a light floral that Josephine would have favored. Vesperini’s shorter Moonlight Slipdress echoes the daring spirit of the Directoire period with its insert of black lace at fitted bust.

Olivia Von Halle catches the vibe with her Bibi Jet Black Silk Slipdress with a cowl neckline held in place by straps of light gold chain: a sensuous column that is both simple and devastating.

Like Josephine, we are looking at a new and different world. Let’s dress for it, in something fit for an empress--from Jane’s Vanity.

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