Enfilade

Chrisman-Campbell, “When Fashion Set Sail” at Worn Through

Posted in journal articles, resources, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on March 26, 2013

It’s been too long since I’ve noted offerings at Worn Through, a blog that addresses apparel from an academic perspective. In addition to a Call for Papers for the Annual Meeting of the Costume Society of America (Midwest Region) on the theme of Uncommon Beauty, recent postings include an interesting contribution from Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell on maritime headdresses: “When Fashion Set Sail.” -CH

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Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, “When Fashion Set Sail,” Worn Through (20 March 2013).

Anonymous, Coëffure à l’Indépendance ou le Triomphe de la liberté, c. 1778, Musée franco-américain du château de Blérancourt

Anonymous, Coëffure à l’Indépendance ou le Triomphe de la liberté, ca. 1778, Musée franco-américain du château de Blérancourt

One of the most iconic images of eighteenth-century extravagance is a fashion plate depicting a lady wearing a miniature ship in her powdered and pomaded hair.

But this much-misunderstood hairstyle 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.

Far from being the whimsical caprice of bored aristocrats, these maritime modes were directly inspired by one of the defining political and philosophical issues of the day: America’s struggle for independence, in which France was a key military and political ally.

The full posting is available here»

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