Market la Mode: Fashion, Commodity, and Gender in the Tatler and the Spectator

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Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997 - Literary Collections - 303 pages
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In Market a la Mode, Erin Mackie examines the role that two periodicals played in the growth of fashion and how they influenced their readers. She traces the commercial context in which The Tatler and The Spectator operated, focusing on the processes of commodification, fetishization, and revisions of gender identity. By championing "natural" fashion against the hoop-petticoat, domesticated women against the sophisticated woman of the world, the polite and aestheticised imagination against the illusions of fancy and enthusiasm, and the decency of bourgeois against the depravity of aristocratic taste, The Tatler and The Spectator advanced modern standards of British culture. Mackie's study makes clear that fashion publications, far from being commentaries on passing trends, assumed a leading role in defining women's legitimate sphere of activities as well as in the development of commerce as recreation.

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About the author (1997)

Erin Mackie is senior lecturer in the English department at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand.

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