An accessible and lively study of Victorian fashion accessories as tools of flirtation and indicators of class, political ideology, chastity and respectability.
Victorian Fashion Accessories takes the reader on a fascinating tour of the world of women's accessories and, in doing so, gives a sweeping view of nineteenth-century British cultural history.
A woman's accessories were always much more than incidental finishing touches to elaborate dress. For example, the colour and material makeup of a pair of gloves indicated her class aspirations. A 'language of the fan' evolved so a lady could secretly communicate with potential lovers. The sun reflecting through rose-coloured parasols gave the illusion that a woman of a certain age looked young again. Even the vanity set on a woman's bedroom dresser indicated her affinity for the Orient and her approval of colonial expansion. This engaging study reveals the beliefs, values, attitudes, and assumptions embedded in women's accessories, unraveling the complexities and contradictions of the women who used these artifacts and the Victorian society which created them.
Victorian Fashion Accessories is essential reading for students and scholars of fashion studies, history, costume, cultural studies and related disciplines, and anyone interested in the history of dress.
Ariel Beaujot holds a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the International Center in the Department of History at the University of Southern Mississippi.