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Fashion – Jewellery: Marguerite De Ponty

Stéphane Mallarmé

Source: Classic and Modern Writings on Fashion 2nd Edition 2009

Book chapter

Paris, 1 August 1874

Fashion: Marguerite De Ponty

Stéphane Mallarmé

Source: Classic and Modern Writings on Fashion 2nd Edition 2009

Book chapter

Issue 4

P. N. Furbank and A. M. Cain

Source: Mallarmé on Fashion. A Translation of the Fashion MagazineLa Dernière mode, with Commentary 2004

Book chapter

After the amusements of transvestism, Mme de Ponty comes to the attractions of narcissism. ‘Madame, with such-and such a toilette you could well stay at home, saved from the tedium of the passing hours by this silk or that lace, enchanted and as it were made new to yourself.’ Ix has already broached the same topic, though less drastically, in Issue 1: ‘For, indeed, what does it signify, Madame, that in your salon, the scene of your triumphs, the pier-glass is carved with a tragic or comic mask, a

Issue 5

P. N. Furbank and A. M. Cain

Source: Mallarmé on Fashion. A Translation of the Fashion MagazineLa Dernière mode, with Commentary 2004

Book chapter

Miss Satin, appropriately, devotes her column in this issue to her compatriot, the great Charles Frederick Worth (1825–95), who, ‘alone, has the art of creating a toilette as elusive as our own thoughts’. Worth was born in Lincolnshire and trained in Swan and Edgar’s store in London, then in 1845 went to Paris, and twelve years later he set up an independent business as a dressmaker, attracting the patronage of the Empress Eugénie and coming more or less to dominate the Parisian world of fashion.

Issue 6

P. N. Furbank and A. M. Cain

Source: Mallarmé on Fashion. A Translation of the Fashion MagazineLa Dernière mode, with Commentary 2004

Book chapter

Ix at last keeps his promise to write about Books, and to very odd effect. There is a species of calculated absurdity in his lavish praise of the poetry of Théodore de Banville and Emmanuel des Essarts, and it is not too plain what the point of the game is. Certainly, Mallarmé himself, though he was extremely fond of des Essarts as a person, detested his writing (though, out of loyalty, he included a poem by him, ‘Le Veilleur de nuit’, in Issue 5). He writes to Eugène Lefébure on 18 February 1865

Issue 7

P. N. Furbank and A. M. Cain

Source: Mallarmé on Fashion. A Translation of the Fashion MagazineLa Dernière mode, with Commentary 2004

Book chapter

Ix devotes his column in this issue to a sore subject, already hinted at in his earlier causeries and theatre reports. It is that music (that ‘adorable scourge’) is taking over all the Paris theatres, at the expense of poetry and the spoken word. It is sometimes said that the huge success of the operetta La Fille de madame Angot, with a score by Lecocq, was the first real proof of Paris’s resurrection after the events of 1870–1. It had many imitators; and by November 1874 Lecocq himself had two m

Issue 8

P. N. Furbank and A. M. Cain

Source: Mallarmé on Fashion. A Translation of the Fashion MagazineLa Dernière mode, with Commentary 2004

Book chapter

Within Ix’s conception of Fashion, as we have noticed already, the calendar plays an important part, and his advice for an old-fashioned Christmas and New Year is warmly affectionate. The enthusiasm extends to the ‘Golden Notebook’s’ instructions for ‘An ordinary Christmas tree’ and is evidently Mallarmé’s own. Ix’s fondness for ‘glacé fruits from all lands’ and ‘traditional sweets … imitating the shape of some ordinary or fantastic thing’ remind one of the inventive quatrains Mallarmé would comp

Part I: La Derniére Mode, and its Pre-history

P. N. Furbank and A. M. Cain

Source: Mallarmé on Fashion. A Translation of the Fashion MagazineLa Dernière mode, with Commentary 2004

Book chapter

People today say: Napoleon AND Stendhal.

Part III: Paris 1874: A Postface

P. N. Furbank and A. M. Cain

Source: Mallarmé on Fashion. A Translation of the Fashion MagazineLa Dernière mode, with Commentary 2004

Book chapter

By Alex Cain

Issue 1

P. N. Furbank and A. M. Cain

Source: Mallarmé on Fashion. A Translation of the Fashion MagazineLa Dernière mode, with Commentary 2004

Book chapter

On the argument that, in this late-summer hiatus between years, it is not plain what the new or ‘latest’ fashion is going to be, Madame de Ponty chooses for her first article a permanent and unchanging topic, jewellery.

Issue 2

P. N. Furbank and A. M. Cain

Source: Mallarmé on Fashion. A Translation of the Fashion MagazineLa Dernière mode, with Commentary 2004

Book chapter

Ix’s approach to his lady-readers, as we see, is highly insidious. He keeps encouraging them in a ferocious snobbery and chauvinism, until it dawns on us that his cruel mockery of the foreign tourists can be read, equally well or better, as mockery of the Parisians, vainly pluming themselves on their high culture and esprit and the supremacy of their city. (For after all, according to the logic of the argument, they have not actually seen these foreign invaders, they are merely imagining them.) I

Issue 3

P. N. Furbank and A. M. Cain

Source: Mallarmé on Fashion. A Translation of the Fashion MagazineLa Dernière mode, with Commentary 2004

Book chapter

For Ix, Issue 3 is an occasion to express his real preferences and his strongest dislikes in the theatre, without too much concealment. What his readers would be supposed to make of this is a question one keeps asking oneself. Though he detests vaudeville and its ‘Poverty-stricken language’, Ix manages, as we see, to pay a most handsome and fanciful compliment to the celebrated Pauline Virginie Déjazet (1797-1875), queen of the vaudeville theatre for fifty years. Déjazet specialised in ‘breeches’

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