FOPS Incroyable and Merveilleuse 20mm
Stamped brass figures on a tinted brass button with steelcuts.
The Incroyables (Incredibles) and their female counterparts, the Merveilleuses (Marvelous women, roughly equivalent in this context to "fabulous divas"), were members of a fashionable aristocratic subculture of the Directory period. Whether as catharsis or in a need to reconnect with other survivors of the Reign of Terror, they greeted the new regime with an outbreak of luxury, decadence and even silliness. They held hundreds of balls and started fashion trends in clothing and mannerisms that today might seem exaggerated, affected or even effete. Some for instance preferred to be called "incoyable" or "meveilleuse", thus avoiding the letter R, as in "Révolution." When this period ended, society took a more sober and modest turn.
Many Incroyables were "nouveaux riches" who had gained their wealth from selling arms and moneylending. But members of the ruling classes were also among the movement's leading figures and the group heavily influenced the politics, clothing and arts of the period.