The Modes et Travaux illustrations are a veritable must see for any true fan of French fashion, especially if they value vintage French style.
The illustrations are heavy on color and detail, depicting an aristocratic like proper swagger that is clearly an influence on the style of upper-class chic women of today. The Modes et Travaux illustrations are a portal into a bygone era, where it was the social and cultural norm for French society women to dress to the nines, complete with a gorgeous hat, for any social event or gathering.
My favorite image features three stylish (and clearly wealthy) women, one draped in a fur coat with a matching rag, another wearing a brown coat and high-waisted belt, and the last wearing a burgundy coat and pants ensemble. All three women are wearing posh hats, and all wear the same stereotypical sneering expression that screams 'holier than thou.' This, to me, is the essence of the Modes et Travaux illustrations -- a place in time where upper-crust French society women were the most beautiful, brutal and stylish on the planet.
Implications - In the last few years, contemporary society has seen a marked change in the way it values retro style. Consumers are obsessed with cultural mores of the past, especially fashion-wise, and try their best to co-opt them or modernize them. A company can benefit from this fad by highlighting their past and including old ads or pictures in their marketing. By showing consumers how far they've come, they engender goodwill, trust, and brand loyalty from the vintage obsessed public.