Amanda Wunder will give a Brown Bag Lunch presentation on Wednesday, September 27, at 12:15 pm. Her talk is entitled “Making the Spanish Style: Fashion and Artisans at the Court of Philip IV.”

One of the most dramatic periods in fashion history flourished at the Spanish court during the reign of Philip IV (1621–1665). The king and his male subjects dressed in tight black suits with stiff starched collars worn high around their necks, while women and even little girls were encaged in enormous bell-shaped farthingales. Precious few garments from the period survive, but seventeenth-century Spanish fashions were immortalized in portraits painted by Diego Velázquez and his followers. This talk explores the material reality of the clothes and accessories worn at the court of Philip IV as they were described by the men and women who made them—the royal tailors, embroiders, ribbon-makers, glovers, hatmakers, furriers, shoemakers, and others—in account records preserved at the Archive of the Royal Palace in Madrid. These vibrantly detailed documents offer new insights into Velázquez’s well-known work and introduce us to his fellow court artisans—previously anonymous—who made an important but largely overlooked contribution to Golden-Age Spanish art and culture.

Amanda Wunder is Associate Professor of History at the City University of New York’s Lehman College in the Bronx. She is also on the faculty of the Art History department and the Renaissance Studies program at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she teaches graduate seminars on early modern Iberian art and material culture and on early modern European fashions and textiles. She is the author of Baroque Seville: Sacred Art in a Century of Crisis, published by Penn State Press in 2017. She is currently a Research Fellow at Bard Graduate Center where she is working on a new book about fashion controversies and gender politics in early modern Spain. Previous publications on this subject include an interdisciplinary study of the Spanish farthingale called the guardainfante that appeared in Renaissance Quarterly 68:1 (March 2015) and a chapter on fashion innovations during the reign of Philip IV in Fashioning the Early Modern: Dress, Textiles and Innovation in Europe, 1500–1800, edited by Evelyn Welch (Oxford, 2017). She is currently preparing a chapter on sumptuary legislation in Spain from the late-medieval period through the eighteenth century for a global history of sumptuary laws edited by Giorgio Riello and Ulinka Rublack.

This event will be livestreamed. Please check back the day of the event for a link to the video. To watch videos of past events please visit our YouTube page.