Sexing la mode: gender, fashion and commercial culture in old regime France

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Berg, Oct 15, 2004 - Art - 244 pages
The connection between fashion, femininity, frivolity and Frenchness has become a cliché. Yet, relegating fashion to the realm of frivolity and femininity is a distinctly modern belief that developed along with the urban culture of the Enlightenment. In eighteenth-century France, a commercial culture filled with shop girls, fashion magazines and window displays began to supplant a courtly fashion culture based on rank and distinction, stimulating debates over the proper relationshipsbetween women and commercial culture and between morality and taste. The story of how "la mode" was "sexed" as feminine offers compelling insights into the political, economic and cultural tensions that marked the birth of modern commercial culture. Jones examines men's and women's relation to fashion at this time, looking at both consumption and production to show the origins of the idea of shopping and fashion as specifically feminine.

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User Review  - Praj05 - LibraryThing

Being a fanatical reader of the exclusive fashion magazines, ‘Sexing la Mode’ was an utter merriment; like tracing the roots of Anna Wintour’s fraternity. Jennifer Jones proficiently traces the ... Read full review


Absolutism and Appearance
Objects of Desire Subjects of the King
A Natural Right to Dress Women

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About the author (2004)

Jennifer M. Jones is Graduate Director of Women's Studies and Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University.

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