Centre for Textile Research, University of Copenhagen, SAXO Institute, Copenhagen (Danemark)
Abstract : There is still much to learn about where, how and why diplomats are keys actors in the many ways the trade of textile and the culture of clothing is spread out on a global scale through time and space.
The research theme chosen by Corinne Thépaut-Cabasset for CTR’s Research & Development day is presented through a series of case studies investigating the impact of diplomacy and secret service in the area of Dress and Textile.
The influence of diplomatic networks on fashion circuits has not yet attracted the attention of researchers in fashion history. Nonetheless the diplomatic archives conserve numerous documents of diverse types concerning directly the study of fashion and more generally that of taste. Attentive observers of the society of their time and of their contemporaries, diplomats, had an official and often political mission, thanks to marriages, births, dynastic events, celebrations of peace and treaties in which they participated in the place of their sovereign. They also served as intermediaries and indispensable relays in the movement of ideas, people and goods. Their role in the workings of the economy remains to be explored.