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The Afrancesados and the Bourgeoisie (1789-1833)

The social and economic changes that had been brewing in the final third of the 18th century culminated in the French Revolution (1789) which had inmediate and sweeping repercussions throughout Europe. The change in dress was rapid and radical.

As Spain became afrancesado ("Frenchified"), the neo-classical style took hold. Ladies aspired to look like the classical statues, using light fabrics for their garments, and raising the waistline almost to the bosom. Gentlemen, however, aped the English style of sober suits. Majismo, a militantly Spanish way of dressing that exaggerated national characteristics, arose as a reaction against the French and the local afrancesados. The fashion, lavishly depicted by Goya, began at the end of the century when the upper classes began to copy the style of dress of the common people, and specially that of the majos and majas in Madrid. This fashion lasted through much of the 19th century.


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