Like Bouguereau’s paintings of comely shepherdesses and peasant girls that were snapped up by wealthy New Yorkers in the late 18oos, there is a dream of country life that city dwellers hold. It’s all about the lovely faces and bucolic backgrounds, rustic corselets and layered linen skirts, with none of the pesky bugs, foul weather or other hardscrabble realities. Designers in New York and London capture this fantasy pastoral mood for next spring with subtle peasant references like full sleeves, gathered skirts and sash waistlines, all in a delicate palette of bud greens and daffodil yellows.


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