Fashion and Fiction: Dress in Art and Literature in Stuart England (The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art)
Publish Date: 2006-03-28
Author: Aileen Ribeiro
Relatively few garments survive from before the eighteenth century, and the history of costume in the preceding centuries must therefore rely to a great extent on literary and visual evidence. This book, the first of its kind, examines Stuart England through the mirror of dress. It argues that both artistic and literary sources can be read and decoded for important information on dress and the way it was perceived in a period of immense political, social, and cultural change. Focusing on the rich visual culture of the seventeenth century, including portraits, engravings, fashion plates, and sculpture, and on literary sourcespoetry, drama, essays, sermonsthe distinguished historian of dress Aileen Ribeiro creates a fascinating account of Stuart dress and how it both reflected and influenced society. Supported by a wealth of illustrative images, she explores such varied themes as court costumes, the masque, the ways in which political and religious ideologies could be expressed in dress, and the importance of London as a fashion center. This beautiful book is an indispensable and authoritative account of what people wore and how it related to Stuart Englands cultural climate.