"Dressing Up: The Women Who Influenced French Fashion" by Elizabeth Block

Date: February 10, 2022 at 7pm ET
VENUE INFORMATION
  • American Antiquarian Society
  • 185 Salisbury Street
  • Worcester, MA
  • 508-755-5221
  • Go to Venue Website

Presented By: American Antiquarian Society

This online event is free, but registration is required. You will be sent an email with a link and instructions on how to join the event upon registration.

In this illustrated presentation and conversation, Elizabeth Block will discuss her new book, Dressing Up: The Women Who Influenced French Fashion, which examines how wealthy American women—as consumers and as influencers—helped shape French couture of the late nineteenth century. Countering the usual narrative of the designer as solo creative genius, Block shows that these American women were active participants in the era's transnational fashion system. She considers the mutual dependence of couture and coiffure; the participation of couturiers in international expositions; the distinctive shopping practices of U.S. women; the performance of conspicuous consumption at balls and soirées; the impact of U.S. tariffs on the French fashion industry; and the emergence of smuggling, theft, and illicit copying of French fashions in the American market as the middle class emulated the preferences of the wealthy.

Elizabeth L. Block, an art historian, is senior editor in the Publications and Editorial Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She has contributed to publications including American Art and West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture.

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