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How American Women Influenced French Fashion

Jul 17, 2022

We are excited to welcome Elizabeth Block, Senior Editor at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, art historian and author of Dressing Up: The Women Who Influenced French Fashion to The Style That Binds Us podcast! Listen to the episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

In Dressing Up: The Women Who Influenced French Fashion, Elizabeth explores how wealthy American women—as consumers and as influencers—helped shape French couture of the late nineteenth century. French fashion of the late nineteenth century is known for its allure, its ineffable chic—think of John Singer Sargent’s Madame X and her scandalously slipping strap. For Parisian couturiers and their U.S. customers, it was also serious business.

In the book, she examines the couturiers’ influential clientele—wealthy women in the United States who bolstered the French fashion industry with a steady stream of orders. Countering the usual narrative of the designer as solo creative genius, Block shows that these women—as high-volume customers
and as pre-Internet influencers—were active participants in the era’s transnational fashion
system.

Alison + Delia

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