The five-member body that ruled the first republic of France between November 1795 and November 1799, headed by a president rotating every three months. The Directoire replaced the National Convention, and was in its turn replaced by a three-member Consulate. One of those consuls was Napoleon Bonaparte, who on Christmas Day 1799 proclaimed himself First (and sole) Consul.
In English the political Directoire is usually translated as either Directorate or Directory, but the French name is retained for the styles of furniture and costume associated with the period. It was transitional between the ornate Louis Seize style and the fully neoclassical style called Empire.
The ancient civilizations were called upon for inspiration. Women's dresses had short sleeves, high waists, and low-cut bosoms, in a Grecian mode, with hair knotted above to match; though men took to dandy collars and tight breeches rather than togas.
Furniture became more angular and plain, and the sumptuous use of marquetry fell out of fashion. Roman republican symbols were used for decoration.