Irwin C. Schroedl Lecture in the Decorative Arts and Material Culture: "Speaking with Fashion: How Clothing Makes Meaning"//Dr. Amelia Rauser, Charles A. Dana Professor of Art History , Franklin & Marshall College

Speaking with Fashion: How Clothing Makes Meaning

Dr. Amelia Rauser, Charles A. Dana Professor of Art History, Franklin & Marshall College

Eighteenth-century women were vibrant participants in public life– intellectually, socially, politically, and aesthetically. But their modes of expression were limited; they could not serve in official roles, of course, and their voices were rarely heard or published. Yet women’s bodies moved freely through public spaces, and as a result, some women used their bodies like walking billboards, displaying their values, ideas, and associations through their dress and accessories. This lecture will consider two ways fashion can speak: literally, via specific items that reflected a partisan view, like the “Regency Caps” and “Loyalty Bandeaus” worn by women during the crisis of 1789; and metaphorically, via styles that remade the body, like the white neoclassical dresses of the 1790s. In both simple and complex ways, women deployed fashionable dress as a form of speech in the late 18th century. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Merrick Lecture Hall
1021 Dulaney Valley Rd, Towson, MD 21204, USA

Event Type

Speaker/Lecture/Reading, Public


Academic, Art & Art History



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