Jane Austen, Fashion & War Featured

Jane Austen, Fashion & War

You are cordially invited to Jane Austen, Fashion & War - A talk by Sarah Jane Downing

In celebration of the Jane Austen bicentenary, author Sarah Jane Downing draws upon her works Fashion in the Time of Jane Austen and Beauty and Cosmetics 1550-1950 to examine the relationships between military uniform and fashion, beauty and literature through the prism of Jane Austen’s works.

The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars had a profound effect upon fashion and women's lives. The shortages of war promoted radical changes in fashion as did the advent of the fashion press in London. French silks were replaced by muslins from the Colonies and home grown touches like purl edge ribbon.

Inspired by heroes like Wellington and Nelson, military styling transformed masculinity with the tightest of trousers and miles of braid to adorn manly chests. Feminine fashions followed suit with braid frogging on spencers, pelisses, and riding habits topped with shako style hats. Nelson’s Nile campaign inspired exotic styles like the Marmalouc silk turban with ostrich plume, and the Casquet a La Minerve which was a black velvet bonnet styled like a Greco- Roman helmet!

No family was left untouched as proportionately more young men were lost in battle than in WWI. Each victory was celebrated, with many gala evenings and the contemporary fashion press such as La Belle Assemblée issued special designs for gowns to be worn to celebrate. Yet losses resonated deeply, as many young women lost all chance of love and marriage and went into a grieving decline comforted only by Gothic novels and romantic poetry. 

Tickets available from Lord Leycester Hospital ticket office, 60 High Street Warwick Warwickshire CV34 4BH; the Warwick Visitor Information Centre at The Court House, Jury Street, Warwick, CV34 4EW and online.

Lord Leycester Hospital, 60 High Street, Warwick, CV34 4BH
Car Park
Linen Street
Sunday 7th May 2017
£12 including afternoon tea
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