L'Âge des Lumières

Re-living the Age of Enlightenment

What is L'Âge des Lumières?

The name? The French expression for the Age of Enlightenment. Doesn't it sound wonderful: The age of light?

This cosy title, marking the end of the "dark ages", names a group of people who want to re-live the 18th century with its costumes and customs, dances and social events.

What is the purpose of L'Âge des Lumières?

It isn't easy to find occasions for wearing 18th century costume and becoming somebody else for a couple of hours, especially in continental Europe. It's not much fun to do it alone. But if a few people gather together, they can inform each other of events, exchange hints and patterns, visit events together and even sew costumes together. Our main goal is to have fun, and if non-costumed spectators can learn something about cultural history - all the better!

Most of us focus on continental European nobility costumes, but we also portray servants if we feel like it and welcome regional styles from all over Europe.

Who is L'Âge des Lumières?

It's hard to say as there isn't any fixed, documented membership. Right now the group consists of about a dozen members of the "core group" who shows up at events as a group, and about 60 sympathizers from all around the world who would if they could. Most are female, aged 19-30... the gentlemen are a bit reluctant, it seems, although breeches and justaucorps look awfully good on guys...

Who can participate?

Anyone! Well, ok, there should be an interest in 18th century costumes. You don't have to own a costume, but you should be willing to make one or have one made - we will help! - and to participate in events from time to time. (Not in all events - just as many as you can make, given geographical and financial restrictions. We are all over the continent, but we try to get together once in a while.) We are in favour of authenticity in cut, fabric and technique, but we don't expect perfection of a new member - just the will to strive for it, together with us all, who are not perfect either.

I want to participate - what should I do?

Just write an email to Elisabeth Amalie von Haimhausen (yes, we do have aliases) using the contact form and /or join the mailing list (by entering your email address into the box below). Membership consists in taking part, keeping in touch, and informing the list of any 18th century event you learn about. If you live in Germany or anywhere close enough to consider taking part in events there and understand German (at least in writing), you might consider joining the German-language sub-group. Ask the Countess von Haimhausen to invite you into it.

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Interested in what went down at past events? Here's a selection that should help you to know us better:

Brühl 2001
Udine 2003
Amerdingen 2005



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