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Title: Collectively fashioned : women, fancy dress, and networks of representation in British visual culture, 1750-1900
Author: Bonewitz, Anna Merrick
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 5054
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis furthers the claim that dress was a vital tool for the expression of identity, particularly for women, during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by considering how women utilized images of dress as part of a networked process of representation. In doing so, it seeks to revive the important role of women in the creation of visual representations of dress, both as subjects and patrons. This thesis demonstrates that, as in the creation of physical costume, costume that is represented in art and visual culture was the result of the agency of a network of individuals, whose relationships were bound through kinship and social networks. Each of the three case studies explores a different visual representation of dress, including painted portraiture, fashion plates and photographs from an ephemeral costume ball. Although each of these chapters engages with a different type of dress and medium of art, they are all united by their focus on historic and exotic impulses in costume: real, imagined and fashionable. Through each of these examples, this thesis charts how fashions migrate across time and space in visual representations of dress, and in the process contribute to the empowering act of representing the collective ideals of women's networks at regional, national, and international levels. The aims of this thesis are twofold: to draw attention to the importance of visual images of dress to the study of women's history on account of the messages of representation embedded within them; and secondly to demonstrate the degree to which the creation of such images was a networked process in which women exercised a level of agency that is often not attributed to them in the literature.
Supervisor: Prettejohn, Elizabeth ; Wigston Smith, Chloe Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available