Clothing Art

The Visual Culture of Fashion, 1600-1914

Aileen Ribeiro

View Inside Price: $75.00

February 14, 2017

170 color + 80 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300119077

An entirely new way of looking at the history of fashion through the eyes of artists

There have always been important links between art and clothing. Artists have documented the ever-evolving trends in fashion, popularized certain styles of dress, and at times even designed fashions. This is the first book to explore in depth the fascinating points of contact between art and clothing, and in doing so it constructs a new and innovative history of dress in which the artist plays a central role. 
Aileen Ribeiro provides an illuminating account of the relationship between artists and clothing from the 17th century, when a more complex and sophisticated attitude to dress first appeared, to the early 20th century, when the boundaries between art and fashion became more fluid: haute couture could be seen as art, and art used textiles and clothes in highly imaginative ways.  Her narrative encompasses such themes as the ways in which clothing has helped to define the nation state; how masquerade and dressing up were key subjects in art and life; and how, while many artists found increasing inspiration in high fashion, others became involved in designing “artistic” and reform dress.  Sumptuously illustrated, Clothing Art also delves into the ways in which artists represent the clothes they depict in their work, approaches which range from photographic detail, through varying degrees of imaginative reality, to generalized drapery.  

Aileen Ribeiro is professor emeritus in the history of art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

Clothing Art is a culmination of the author’s academic interests and the product of 40 years of writing, teaching and publishing. With its distinctive approach to dress history, it is without rival.”—Martin Pel, Selvedge

“This is a brilliant, sumptuously illustrated exploration of fashion through the eyes of artists… Ribeiro shows how the history of dress and the history of art are inseperable.”—Sebastien Shakespeare, Tatler
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