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The 16th century was illuminated up by the discovery of new horizons; the 17th century was dazzled by the splendor of Versailles; and the 18th century adopted the virtues of enlightened spirits. Yet all of these eras shared a common peculiarity: the art of constraining the body through stayed bodices and ruff and tar collars around the neck, which, at the end of the 16th century became so high and wide it was almost impossible to eat. At the beginning of Louis XIV's reign, men went on a joyful spree of wearing flourishes and wigs that were crimped, plaited, powdered, and adorned with little bags, braids or ribbons.
But in England, corsets became more flexible and the first one-piece muslin dress, without a frame and worn with a simple belt at the waist, appeared. Marie-Antoinette adopted it and started a (first) revolution at France's Royal Court. Another change came when Marie-Antoinette agreed to having her appointed dress maker work for other clients. Other fashion merchants started making the headlines of Cabinet des Modes and Lady's Magazine.
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