In between small model spitfires and Sherman tank key rings, visitors browsing the shelves of the Imperial War Museum’s gift shop will find their gaze met by the reassuringly familiar smile of a round-faced rag doll, beaming from the side of a tote bag.
Benedict Anderson’s conceptualisation of nations as ‘invented communities’ identified the emergence of modern nationalism through a combination of demotic print culture and the growth of capitalism.
Essay collections are always a mixed bag, and this one is more muddled than most. The warning signs are clear. The volume is part of a series ominously titled ‘Austrian Studies in English’. Six of the 15 essays were papers presented at a 2010 conference of the same name at the University of Vienna.
Sportswear is as much a signifier of American cultural identity as are apple pie and the Super Bowl.
The study of fashion is acknowledged to require a composite methodology. Daniel Roche, in his influential The Culture of Clothing: Dress and Fashion in the ‘ancien régime’ (1) put forward five headings under which dress could be interrogated: the artefact, textiles, pictorial representation, social and economic sources, and philological sources.
Book compilations can be a difficult genre. Comprised of varied essays and authorial voices, it takes a clear and well-defined theme, and a sure editorial hand to maintain focus and quality.
ugIn the introduction to The Politics of Fashion in Eighteenth-Century America author Kate Haulman puts forward the question ‘How was fashion political in eighteenth-century British North America?’ In addressing this, she uses fashion as a platform to explore the dynamics of gender relations, societal hierarchies and issues of trans-Atlantic commerce within the politics of 18th-century
Philip Mendes has provided us with a truly comprehensive study of the historical relationship between Jews and leftist politics.
Fashion Prints in the Age of Louis XIV. Interpreting the Art of Elegance is the record of a symposium held in 2005, sparked by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)’s acquisition of a bound album of 190 hand-colored French fashion plates published between approximately 1670 and 1695.
This is a very welcome addition to the study of dress in antiquity. While studies of clothing, bodily adornment and the body language of antiquity are becoming more frequent, a volume that considers the role of religious dress and the religious meanings of dress among Jews and Christians takes this research in new directions.