Fashioning the Early Modern: Dress, Textiles, and Innovation in Europe, 1500-1800

Evelyn Welch
Pub date
Jul 2016
Pasold Studies in Textile History
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How did fashion work in Europe before modern media? Why were beards suddenly stylish after 1500? Why did the ruff come in and out of use in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? Why did men from Spain to Sweden suddenly decide to adopt wigs around 1660 only to drop them less than fifty years later? How did manufacturers and merchants encourage and then respond to changing demands for colourful printed patterns and new cuts and styles of tailoring in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries? As importantly, why were others unsuccessful in terms of their cross-European adoption? This book explores the ways in which men, women, state industries, guilds and entrepreneurs in early modern Europe created, innovated and promoted new textiles, novel products and unusual forms of dress. Challenging conventional explanations that explain fashion as spreading from the court elite downwards, it demonstrates the complexity of the relationships that made fashions successful.


Evelyn Welch: Introduction
I: Innovation
1 John Styles: Fashion and Innovation in Early Modern Europe
2 Giorgio Riello: Governing Innovation: The Political Economy of Textiles in the Eighteenth Century
3 Evelyn Welch and Juliet Claxton: Easy Innovation in Early Modern Europe
4 Amanda Wunder: Innovation and Tradition at the Court of Philip IV of Spain
5 Paula Hohti: Dress, Dissemination and Innovation: Artisan Fashions in Sixteenth- and Early Seventeenth-Century Italy
II: Reputation and Dissemination
6 Corinne Thepaut-Cabasset: A Glittering Reputation: Barthelemy Gaultier's Retailing Innovations in Seventeenth-Century Paris
7 Lesley Miller: Making a Reputation from Innovation: Silk Designers in Lyon, 1660-1789
8 Peter McNeil: 'Beauty in Search of Knowledge': Eighteenth-Century Fashion and the World of Print
9 Patrik Steorn: Caricature and Fashion Critique on the Move: Establishing European Print and Fashion Culture in Eighteenth-Century Sweden
10 Maj Ringaard: Framing Early Modern Knitting
11 Mikkel Pedersen: Filtering Impressions: Encounters with Fashionable Goods in Danish Everyday Life in the Eighteenth Century
12 Peter Andreas Toft: Fashion in a Restricted Market: European Commodities in Greenland in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

About the author: 

Evelyn Welch is Professor of Renaissance Studies in the History Department at King's College London. A specialist in Renaissance and Early Modern history and its material remains, she has published extensively on Italian and European consumption practices. She is the author of Shopping in the Renaissance (Yale University Press, 2005) which won the Wolfson Prize for History and, with Dr James Shaw, Making and Marketing Medicine in Renaissance Florence (Rodopi Press, 2011). Between 2009- and 2012, Professor Welch led the Humanities in the European Research Area project, Fashioning the Early Modern: Creativity and Innovation in Europe, 1500-1800.

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