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Divide and Clothe: Illustrating Fashion in Nineteenth-Century Europe
But the early nineteenth century also witnessed a rise in interest in clothing that did not change, and which became subsumed in the category of "costume." The period's prolific illustrated press documented traditional costumes worn in rural regions of Europe or far-flung parts of the world. Such images contributed to perceived divisions between those who participated in fashion and those who did not. In so doing, these images complemented contemporary beliefs that progress and modernity were inherently metropolitan, Western phenomena. The exhibition traces these contrasting ideas about clothing as fashion and as costume (as well as hybrids of the two) across visual representations ranging from fashion plates to caricatures, and from journals associated with clothing production, to encyclopedic volumes on historic dress and world costume.
This exhibition is curated by Isabelle Gillet and Courtney Wilder, graduate students in the History of Art department.
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