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AngloMania - Bolton, Andrew; Koda, Harold - Yale University Press

Art and Architecture

Published in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art 
 


AngloMania

Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion

  • Andrew Bolton, with an essay by Ian Buruma
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Anglomania, the craze for all things English, gripped Europe during the mid-to-late 18th century.  As perceived by Anglophiles such as Voltaire and Montesquieu, England was a land of reason, freedom, and tolerance, a place where the Enlightenment found its greatest expression.  What began as an intellectual phenomenon, however, became and has remained a matter of style.  Through the lens of fashion, AngloMania examines aspects of English culture, such as class, sport, royalty, pageantry, eccentricity, the gentleman, and the country garden, which have fuelled the European and American imagination.

This beautiful book presents historical costumes juxtaposed with late 20th- and early 21st-century fashions by Hussein Chalayan, John Galliano, Stephen Jones, Shaun Leane, Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, and Vivienne Westwood.  As with the hugely successful exhibition “Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century” at the Metropolitan Museum, the clothing is styled as a series of thematic vignettes in the Museum’s English Period Rooms.  This book comprises photographs of the installations along with text written by Andrew Bolton.

From AngloMania, we learn that Englishness is a romantic construct based on fictive and imaginary narratives.  In terms of fashion, these narratives emerge as ones that are satirical, nostalgic, theatrical, and like the English weather, at once indomitable and unpredictable.

Andrew Bolton is Associate Curator of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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