Mode and Manners in the Eighteenth Century, 1675–1804

This seminar examines eighteenth-century fashionable dress within the context of the social, cultural, and political history of the period. The emphasis is on France as leader in the creation and dissemination of high style, with consideration of clothing in other European countries. Topics include dress as status and the mechanics of the clothing and textile trades; the influence of stylistic trends, such as the rococo and neo- classicism, and of personalities, such as Madame de Pompadour; the use of dress in portraiture; the importance of dance in social life; the salon and the role of women in French society; the emergence of fashion culture and the fashion press as aspects of increasing consumerism; the politicization of dress during the French Revolution; and the return of sartorial finery with the coronation of Napoléon I. Readings include Fanny Burney’s Evelina (1778).

3 credits. Satisfies the pre-1800 requirement.