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The Culture of Clothing : Dress and Fashion in the Ancien Regime - Daniel Roche

The Culture of Clothing

Dress and Fashion in the Ancien Regime

By: Daniel Roche, Jean Birrell (Translator)

Paperback Published: 9th December 1996
ISBN: 9780521574549
Number Of Pages: 564

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This book, the English translation of La Culture des Apparences by Daniel Roche, is a study of dress in France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Roche discusses general approaches to the history of dress, locates the subject within current French historiography and uses a large sample of inventories to explore the differences between the various social classes in the amount they spent on clothes and the kind of clothes they wore. It is his belief that the choice of clothes, the trade in clothes and the perception of the function of clothing tells us more about the values of a society than the study of any other single commodity. For clothes have different uses according to who is wearing them, and in the period under discussion several discrete markets in clothing had already emerged. Roche's essential argument is that there was a 'vestimentary revolution' in the later eighteenth century as all sections of the population became caught up in the world of fashion and fast-moving consumption. This was an age of sumptuous fashion gravures and of a new press for ladies of leisure which provided their readers with a stimulating mixture of fashion and public affairs. He demonstrates that this was a period of revolutionary change in the ways in which Parisians thought of dress, for men as well as for women. There was a new concern for decency and respectability as well as a desire to impress. Taken as a whole, this book is easily the most thorough and wide-ranging study of clothing and its social meaning that has been written to date.

Industry Reviews

'At the outset Daniel Roche makes it known that he seeks to retrieve the history of clothes from the highly specialist world of folk museums and historians of costume. This stimulating work is the proof of his success.' Alan Forrest, The Times Literary Supplement

List of plates
List of tables
History of Clothing
Clothing or costume?
The Quicherat effect and after
History, fashion and clothing systems from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries
The Economy of Wardrobes
Towards an understanding of the Parisian clothing system
The hierarchy of appearances in Paris from Louis XIV to Louis XVI
The contents of wardrobes from the classical age to the Revolution
The invention of linen
The triumph of appearances: nobilities and clothes
The discipline of appearances: the prestige of uniform
Producing, Selling and Stealing: the Distribution of Appearances
From crafts to customers: the Parisian clothing economy
From crafts to customers: tailors, dressmakers, linen-drapers and fashion merchants
From theft to resale: another aspect of the clothes trade
Caring for clothes: from propriety to cleanliness
Truth and the Mask
Clothes in the novel
Rational and healthy clothes
Fashions in reason and reasons for fashion: the birth of the fashion press in France
Conclusion: The culture of appearances: consumption and morality
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521574549
ISBN-10: 0521574544
Series: Past and Present Publications
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 564
Published: 9th December 1996
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.54 x 13.92  x 3.4
Weight (kg): 0.75