Moving Beyond Paris and London: Influences, Circulation, and Rivalries in Fashion and Textiles between France and England, 1700-1914
IHTP/CNRS, rue Pouchet, Paris ; Musée Cognacq-Jay, Paris.
Presentation : By looking closely at the relationship—at times friendly, at times not—between France and England through fashion and textiles between 1700 and 1914, this conference will touch on a number of topics, including: the circulation (lawful or illicit) of knowledge, individuals, and objects; the diffusion – and cross-fertilization – of design models between the two countries via press, engravings, or fashion dolls; the importation of textiles and clothing; the phenomena of copying, espionage, and counterfeits; the pursuit of protectionist policies which aimed to limit imports from the rival nation.
Particular attention will be given to the different temporalities of industrialization of the two countries as a way to understand innovation and the progressive organization of professions in each. The comparison between the evolution of the two countries will also take into account examples of transfers across them such as with Charles Frederick Worth, the British designer who came to France in 1858 to open a couture house that rapidly became the symbol of haute couture in Paris.
These questions seek to examine the myriad ways in which fashion and textiles strengthened or frayed the political, economic, commercial, industrial, and cultural ties between the two countries. The conference also aims to shed new light on the geography of fashion by looking at capitals and production centers (Paris-London / Manchester- Rouen/ Lyon-Spitalfields), as well as by considering the more global context at a time of intense colonial rivalry between the two countries.
This conference is organized by the IHTP-CNRS & LARCA (UMR 8225) – UNIVERSITÉ PARIS DIDEROT. It is the latest in a series on cultural exchanges in fashion, which have included “Haute couture, fashion and consumption, France and England, 1947-1957 (April 11 2014), “French-American Exchanges in Fashion,” (April 15, 2016), and Franco-German Exchanges in Fashion (October 10-12, 2016).