Lecture | Chrisman-Campbell, When Fashion Set Sail

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on March 30, 2012

From the BGC:

Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell | When Fashion Set Sail:
Maritime Modes in Pre-Revolutionary France
Bard Graduate Center, New York, 3 April 2012

Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell will deliver a Françoise and Georges Selz Lecture on 18th- and 19th-Century French Decorative Arts and Culture on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. Her talk is entitled When Fashion Set Sail: Maritime Modes in Pre-Revolutionary France. Dr. Chrisman-Campbell is an independent scholar and a consultant for The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. She received her B.A. from Stanford University, her M.A. from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and her Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen. Chrisman-Campbell has published numerous journal and magazine articles on 18th– and early 19th-century French fashion. She has also contributed to several books and museum catalogues, including Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915 (Los Angeles: Prestel and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2010); Paris: Life & Luxury in the Eighteenth Century (Los Angeles: Getty Publishing, 2011); The Saint-Aubin ‘Livre de Caricature’ (Oxford: Studies in Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, forthcoming); and Seeing Satire (Oxford: Studies in Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, forthcoming).

One of the most iconic and enduring images of 18th-century extravagance is a French fashion plate depicting a woman wearing a miniature ship in her powdered and pomaded hair. This hairstyle—the coiffure à la Belle Poule—was not just an eye-catching novelty. It was one of many ship-shaped headdresses that celebrated specific French naval victories and, more importantly, advertised their wearers’ patriotism and political acumen. In addition to hairstyles, French women of the era wore hats à la maritime and garments adorned with nautical motifs, and the looms of Lyon produced textiles woven with scenes from naval battles. Sailing ships were also rendered in Sèvres porcelain, depicted on snuffboxes, and included in portraits of ladies of fashion. The vogue for nautical fashions and textiles during the reign of Louis XVI was a powerful testimony to the practical and symbolic role the sea played in the everyday lives of women at the most elite levels of French society, whether as a battlefield or a frontier. It also reflected the increasingly tempestuous nature of fashion itself in the pre-Revolutionary period.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm. The presentation will begin at 6:00 pm. 

RSVP is required. Please click on the registration link at the bottom of this page or contact  academicevents@bgc.bard.edu.

Please note that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. We also have overflow seating available; all registrants who arrive late will be seated in the overflow area.

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