Disseminating Dress: Britain's Fashion Networks, 1600–1970
Fashion travels. Every new shape of sleeve, each novel method of cutting and any innovation in fabric has spread through complex networks of makers, retailers and consumers. Disseminating Dress represents the first historical study of how these networks of fashion communication functioned and evolved in an increasingly global material world. Focussing on Britain – separated from mainland Europe, yet increasingly globally-linked – this volume will trace how dress was disseminated in and out of one island nation.
The paths made by print, image and commodities around the globe have enabled historians to reimagine a connected material world. The influence of innovations in dissemination shape this volume, which asks urgent questions about the extent of global influence on fashion, and the intertwining nature of written, printed, visual and material fashion news. This collection brings together innovative scholarship from an interdisciplinary group of historians, art historians and fashion scholars to consider how global and local networks of dress dissemination converged to shape fashionable dress in Britain, and how British methods and aesthetics spread outwards across the world. From the drawing rooms of 19th-century London, to the verandas of 19th-century Australia, contributors to Disseminating Dress develop narratives of commodity and knowledge exchange to consider how fashion circulated.