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By Bonnie English

This re-creation of a bestselling textbook is designed for college students, students, and an individual attracted to twentieth century style historical past. Accessibly written and good illustrated, the ebook outlines the social and cultural historical past of style thematically, and includes a wide selection of worldwide case stories on key designers, kinds, pursuits and occasions. the hot version has been revised and accelerated: there are new sections on Read more...

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attractive, concise and hugely available, this new version of a bestselling textual content has been revised all through and comprises fresh sections reflecting fresh advancements and two times as many images. Read more...

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The availability of ready-made clothing for both men and women coincided with the development of the department stores, and these factors were instrumental in the emergence of a ‘culture of consumption’ that eroded social class barriers. Large department stores such as the Bon Marché were stocking shawls, cloaks and tippets, as well as garment linings and millinery items, and this trend escalated with the introduction of a ready-to-wear department in the 1860s. According to Michael B. 3 Despite this evidence, it is difficult to ascertain the extent to which ready-to-wear was usurping private dressmaking businesses.

This point is detailed by Zola in Au Bonheur des Dames (Ladies’ Delight) (1883), a fictional account presumably based on the business ventures of the Bon Marché: Publicity was, above all, a tremendous force. Mouret spent as much as three hundred thousand francs a year on catalogues, advertisements and posters. For his sale of summer fashions he had sent out two hundred thousand catalogues, of which fifty thousand, translated into all languages, were sent abroad. (1989 [1883]: 56) These new commercial merchandising techniques did not escape the attention of the avant-garde artists Picasso and Braque, who seized upon the opportunity to appropriate small sections of commercial logos into their collaged work.

Complementing and refining Bell’s theory, other cultural studies researchers have underlined the notion that while lower social class groups attempt to emulate the tastes of higher groups, this causes the latter to respond by adopting new tastes that will re-establish and maintain the original distance. Again, this was particularly evident in the nineteenth century, when the simulated attempts of the bourgeois class to imitate le bon monde of an elitist society found working-class women packing dusters or newspapers under the backs of their skirts to replicate the modish bustle backs of high fashion.

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