A Day At The Races
(Shades Of Jacques Henri Lartigue)
(One of the photographs was taken by Agence Syral. The others were taken by Henri Meurisse.)
"The Longchamp Racecourse and Fashion Promenade
Attracting enormous crowds, by the late 1800s, the Longchamp Racecourse in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris had become one of the most fashionable public venues in France.
Spectating at the races was an immensely popular and socially prestigious pastime.
A place to see and be seen, Longchamp was like a giant stage to vaunt one’s social position......
Enclosures were reserved for aristocrats and the well-connected and ladies were required to be escorted by a gentleman in order to enter. But grabbing the spotlight was a new class of celebrity: the demimonde.
Arriving alone, demimondaine were forbidden access to the enclosures but were as much of a spectacle as the races themselves.
Mixing with society women, they often shared the same couturier but appeared a little more chic.
Supported by wealthy lovers, these were women on the fringes of respectable society......
Paris had become the fashion capital of the world and it wasn’t long before designers realized that Longchamp was a goldmine.
Fashion houses outfitted models with their finest clothes, sending them to the races to show off the latest styles. "
( Fiveminutehistory. The-longchamp-racecourse-and-fashion-promenade)
(Agence Syral Photograph)