Victorian Fashion Accessories

Victorian Fashion Accessories

by Ariel Beaujot


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In Victorian England, women's accessories were always much more than incidental finishing touches to their elaborate dress. Accessories helped women to fashion their identities.Victorian Fashion Accessories explores how women's use of gloves, parasols, fans and vanity sets revealed their class, gender and colonial aspirations.

The colour and fit of a pair of gloves could help a middle-class woman indicate her class aspirations.The sun filtering through a rose-colored parasol would provide a woman of a certain age with the glow of youth. The use of a fan was a socially acceptable means of attracting interest and flirting.Even the choice of vanity set on a woman's bedroom dresser reflected her complicity with colonial expansion. By paying attention to the particular details of women's accessories we discover the beliefs embedded in these artefacts and enhance our understanding of the culture at large.

Beaujot's engaging prose illuminates the complex identities of the women who used accessories in the Victorian culture that created and consumed them. Victorian Fashion Accessories is essential reading for students and scholars of, history, gender studies, cultural studies, material culture and fashion studies, as well as anyone interested in the history of dress.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781847886828
Publisher: Berg Publishers
Publication date: 06/01/2012
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Ariel Beaujot is a Visiting Scholar and Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Department of History at the University of Vermont. She has also published the following articles relating to this study of Victorian fashion accessories: The Beauty of Her Hands: The Glove and the Making of the Middle-Class Body, and Coiffing Vanity: A Study of the Manufacture, Design, and Meaning of the Celluloid Hairbrush in America, 1900-1930.

Table of Contents

List of Figures ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

1 "The Beauty of her Hands": The Glove and the Making of Middle-Class Womanhood 31

2 "The Language of the Fan": Pushing the Boundaries of Middle-Class Womanhood 63

3 "Underneath the Parasol": Umbrellas as Symbols of Imperialism, Race, Youth, Flirtation, and Masculinity 105

4 "The Real Thing": The Celluloid Vanity Set and the Search for Authenticity 139

Conclusion 179

Bibliography 183

Index 213

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