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Dressed to Rule: Royal and Court Costume from Louis XIV to Elizabeth II Hardcover – July 11, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Philip Mansel's book, Dressed to Rule: Royal and Court Costume from Louis XIV to Elizabeth II takes a sweeping look at how clothing was used by monarchs to determine who was in, and who was out. In, of course, meant that you had access to the monarch, a neccesity for those who wanted to have power -- and out, was just that -- outside of court culture and power.
Introduction: the Power of Clothes
A very brief essay on how clothing served as both a message of style and education but also of power.
In the past, clothing at a royal court was a clear signal of who you were, and more importantly, how much money and wealth did you have. This chapter was fairly interesting, especially as it showed the links between native industry -- in France it was the silk industry in Lyon -- and a court that was voracious in needing a constant supply of fine fabrics, and how changing tastes in clothing could enhance or ruin the national economy.
Here the emphasis is more on where are you from than anything else. It starts with George IV of England -- otherwise known as the Prince Regent -- and how he made the Scottish kilt and tartan so popular. Then in an about face, the author abruptly switches to national dress in Poland, and how it tried to succeed in the face of upcoming division by its neighboring, stronger empires around it.Read more ›