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Costume, portraiture, and the presentation of self have been closely linked throughout the history of art. Yet while the face of the person portrayed is still accessible to the modern viewer, the meaning of the sitter's clothes has often been lost to history. In this innovative book, Aileen Ribeiro supplies readers with a time-transcending lens wrought from her considerable knowledge of the history of dress. She focuses on one hundred paintings, drawings, photographs, and other works of art from the National Portrait Gallery in London that demonstrate the fluidity and multiple modes of fashion throughout English history. The subjects span the past five centuries and include many notable figures, from Henry VII through Coleridge to Harold Pinter and Margaret Thatcher. Whether the costumes in question are the slashed doublets and pink satin lynx-lined gowns of the Tudor monarchy or the informally elegant T-shirts and jeans of Princess Diana, their details supply vital clues to the person's status, rank, milieu, profession, and personal character.
How, exactly, does "style make the man"? How is identity forged through appearance over time? Observations on manufacture, decoration, and construction provide an evidential foundation for the story of "who we were and are, and how we wished to look." The pearls that embroider Sir Walter Raleigh's costume are attributes of his devotion to Queen Elizabeth; the blue shirt in a painting of 1934 reveals the sitter's radical allegiances; the Duke of Windsor's outfit is an expression of "his guiding principles in dress 'Comfort and Freedom.'"
Lavishly illustrated, this valuable contribution to the history of British fashion includes related works of art, contemporary illustrations, and specially commissioned photographs of extant clothing examples. The introduction synthesizes English, art, fashion, and social histories to chronicle the evolution of the portrait from symbol of individual wealth and authority to its more recent role as revelation of essential personality. Commentaries explore the purpose and original context of the fashions, thus bringing readers intriguingly close to the reality of the past.
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Aileen Ribeiro is a reader in the History of Art and head of the History of Dress Section at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She is known internationally as an authority on fashion history and has published widely. Her previous works include Dress and Morality, Fashion and the French Revolution, and Ingres in Fashion: Representations of Dress and Appearance in Ingres's Images of Women.Review:
Beautifully illustrated and well researched. (Library Journal)
The Gallery of Fashion shows how fashion speaks to culture and identity. Paired with engaging text, these portraits are beautiful to look at, and its a wonderful method to see how fashion changed through the ages. . . . This fantastic and interesting collection should be seen by all fashionistas who want to see what people were wearing, and when. (Booklist)
The author focuses on costume rather than art history, providing a visual overview of the past five centuries of fashion. (Choice)
Aileeen Ribeiro examines our continuing obsession with the symbols of class, privilege, history, and personal style represented in clothing and accessories. . . . Ribeiro presents both an analysis of artistic signifiers and a thoroughly entertaining walk through other people's closets. . . . This sumptuous study of dress in portraiture is an edifying pleasure.---Victoria Amador, The Bloomsbury Review
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Book Description Princeton University Press, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110691050929
Book Description Princeton University Press, 2000. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0691050929