Corinne Thépaut-Cabasset gave a Brown Bag Lunch presentation on Monday, October 23, at 12:15 pm. Her talk was entitled “The Material Culture of Trade and Diplomacy.”

The influence of diplomatic networks on the textile trade and the spread of fashion across the globe has not yet attracted the attention of fashion historians. Diplomatic archives, however, conserve a diverse array of documents concerning the study of fashion as well as those that examine taste more generally. Attentive observers of the society of their time and of their contemporaries, diplomats had an official and often political mission, thanks to marriages, births, dynastic events, celebrations of peace, and treaties in which they participated or attended in the place of their sovereign. While diplomats served as intermediaries and indispensable relays in the movement of ideas, people, and goods, their role in the workings of the economy remains to be explored. In this talk, Thépaut-Cabasset will discuss her research, carried out in archives across Europe, on the subject.

Corinne Thépaut-Cabasset is Research Associate at the Château de Versailles and Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow at the Centre for Textile Research/SAXO Institute at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark). She is an early modern historian and art historian specializing in the history of decorative arts, fashion and dress, and global trade, with a particular emphasis on the interrelation between art, trade, and diplomacy. She has edited the series of fashion articles published in the Mercure Galant: L’Esprit des Modes au Grand Siècle (CTHS, Paris, 2010). Her publications reflect the various topics she carried out for her research on dress and textiles and explore, from different perspectives, the ways in which archival sources interact with object based studies. Previously, she was appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, for the three-year international research project (2010–2013) “Fashioning the Early Modern: Creativity and Innovation in Europe 1500–1800,” funded by Humanities in the Research Area (HERA), investigating the creativity and innovation that lay behind the creation and spread of fashionable goods in Early Modern Europe. She is currently in residence as a Research Fellow at Bard Graduate Center, where she is working on her book manuscript “Dressing the New World: The Trade and the Culture of Clothing in the New Spanish Colonies 1600–1800.”