Shopping, E. Cheffer, after Guido Gonin, 1879
Until the 1870s women were not allowed to go out without a male escort, but then the cramped, unsafe lanes and alleys of Paris were replaced by broad, illuminated and hence ‘safe’ boulevards, lined with a plethora of shops. The age of ‘shopping’ – and window shopping – was born. Fashion illustrators tapped into this new phenomenon in their work. Women in walking dresses were represented admiring, trying on and also purchasing items in the new ‘department stores’.