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Tuxedo or smoking jacket
The required decorum of a 19th century British gentlemen managing his guests’ sense of smell meant that the smoking jacket was originally worn exclusively in the smoking room. Seduced by the garment, the American James Potter transgressed the rule and in 1886 wore this jacket with its satin lapels to the Tuxedo Club in New York. He popularised the use of its new name. Completed with braided trousers, a plastron shirt and a bow tie, in the 20th century this ensemble became the signature attire for men frequenting casinos and cocktail parties, or her Majesty’s Secret Services, like James Bond.
A fabric with complex motifs which owes its name to the automatic loom used for its production, itself conceived in Lyon in 1801 in the workshops of Joseph-Marie Jacquard. A unique combination of three previous innovations (Basile Bouchon’s perforated paper tape, Jean-Baptiste’s continuous loop of perforated cards and Jacques Vaucanson’s cylinder, also perforated), the Jacquard loom revolutionised the sector and was capable of doing the work of five people. A development deemed unpopular by competitors (the famous Lyon weavers known as the “canuts”) who rose up in 1831 and tried to destroy Jacquard’s machines by striking them with clogs (sabots in French). But while we might owe the word “sabotage” to the canuts’ revolt, the industrialists chose to support Jacquard and his loom took the place of other older techniques. A predecessor to the computer (because the perforated cards are programmable), the Jacquard loom has today grown considerably and now produces almost all patterned fabrics used for clothing, furnishings and domestic linens.