Fashion victims : dress at the court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.

By: Chrisman-Campbell, Kimberly.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, 2015Description: xii, 351 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm.ISBN: 9780300154382.Subject(s): Costume and Fashion | France-Kings and rulers-Clothing | France-History-Louis XVI, 1774-1793 | France-Court and courtiers-Clothing-History-18th century | Fashion-France-History-18th centuryDDC classification: 646.09033CHR
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

This engrossing book chronicles one of the most exciting, controversial, and extravagant periods in the history of fashion: the reign of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette in 18th-century France. Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell offers a carefully researched glimpse into the turbulent era's sophisticated and largely female-dominated fashion industry, which produced courtly finery as well as promoted a thriving secondhand clothing market outside the royal circle. She discusses in depth the exceptionally imaginative and uninhibited styles of the period immediately before the French Revolution, and also explores fashion's surprising influence on the course of the Revolution itself. The absorbing narrative demonstrates fashion's crucial role as a visible and versatile medium for social commentary, and shows the glittering surface of 18th-century high society as well as its seedy underbelly.<br>  <br> Fashion Victims presents a compelling anthology of trends, manners, and personalities from the era, accompanied by gorgeous fashion plates, portraits, and photographs of rare surviving garments. Drawing upon documentary evidence, previously unpublished archival sources, and new information about aristocrats, politicians, and celebrities, this book is an unmatched study of French fashion in the late 18th century, providing astonishing insight, a gripping story, and stylish inspiration.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Chrisman-Campbell's profusely illustrated, hefty volume serves as a complement to Dress in Eighteenth-Century Europe, 1715-1789 (1985), The Art of Dress: Fashion in England and France, 1750-1820 (CH, Mar'96, 33-4087) and Fashion in the French Revolution (CH, Jun'89, 26-5819), all by her mentor Aileen Ribeiro. Chrisman-Campbell reveals how fashionable clothing (frequently beyond affordable means), considered a sartorial obligation for virtually all levels of a mixed 18th-century French society, became a visual political force in the tidal wave of "cataclysmic social change." Primary sources document a multitude of men's and women's attitudes (royalty/nobility/bourgeoisie) regarding the importance of keeping up with clothing fads--regardless of how expensive, arbitrary, or frivolous they were. Quotes from Abigail Adams provide refreshing insights into the French fantasy excesses. Discussion includes intricate details of clothing worn at royal rituals--continuing traditions of Louis XIV; examples of built-in obsolescence with historical events incorporated into gigantic wigs and headdresses; and the primary role(s) played by marchande de modes (couturieres) or fashion merchants/artistic designers responsible for establishing Paris and France as the world's fashion center. Paradoxically, fashion accessory production (e.g., lace making and fan painting) provided the means refugee French aristocrats and clergy in Revolutionary exile were able to support themselves. Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels. --Beverly B. Chico, Regis University