A Cultural History of Dress and Fashion in the Age of Empire

A Cultural History of Dress and Fashion in the Age of Empire

During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the production of dress shifted dramatically from being predominantly hand-crafted in small quantities to machine-manufactured in bulk. The increasing democratization of appearances made new fashions more widely available, but at the same time made the need to differentiate social rank seem more pressing.

In this age of empire, the coding of class, gender and race was frequently negotiated through dress in complex ways, from fashionable dress which restricted or exaggerated the female body to liberating reform dress, from self-defining black dandies to the oppressions and resistances of slave dress.

Richly illustrated with over 100 images and drawing on a plethora of visual, textual and object sources, A Cultural History of Dress and Fashion in the Age of Empire presents essays on textiles, production and distribution, the body, belief, gender and sexuality, status, ethnicity, and visual and literary representations to illustrate the diversity and cultural significance of dress and fashion in the period.
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