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Books by Sarah-Jane Downing

  • Fashion in the Time of Jane Austen

    Sarah-Jane Downing

    Product Code: BFKIJ
    Paperback
    The broader Regency period 1795 to 1820, stands alone as an incredible moment in fashion history, unlike anything that went before it. For the first time, England became a fashion influence, especially for menswear, and became the toast of Paris, as court dress became secondary to the season-by-season flux of fashion as we know it today. Sarah Jane Downing explores the fashion revolution and the innovation that inspired a flood of fashions taking influence from far afield. It was an era of contradiction immortalised by Jane Austen, who adeptly used the new-found diversity of fashion to enliven her characters: Wickham's military splendour; Mr Darcy's understated elegance; and Miss Tilney's romantic fixation with white muslin.
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  • Beauty and Cosmetics 1550 to 1950

    Sarah-Jane Downing

    Product Code: BDLES
    Paperback
    The source of tremendous power and the focus of incredible devotion, throughout history notions of beauty have been integral to social life and culture. Each age has had its own standards: a gleaming white brow during the Renaissance, the black eyebrows considered charming in the early eighteenth century, and the thin lips thought desirable by Victorians. Beauty has ensured good marriages, enabled social mobility and offered fame and notoriety, and has led women - and some men - to remarkable lengths in cultivating it, from the dangerous quantities of lead applied by Elizabeth I, to the women of the 1940s and '50s, who employed face powder, lipstick and mascara to look their best during the privations of war and austerity, creating a chic appearance to which many still aspire.
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  • Fashion in the Time of William Shakespeare

    Sarah-Jane Downing

    Product Code: BBOBB
    Paperback
    Garments and accessories are prominent in almost all of William Shakespeare's plays, from Hamlet and Othello to A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night. The statement 'Clothes maketh the man' was one that would have resonated with their audiences: the rise of England's merchant class had made issues of rank central to Elizabethan debate, and a rigid table of sumptuary laws carefully regulated the sorts of fabric and garment worn by the different classes. From the etiquette of courtly dress to the evolution of the Elizabethan ruff, in this vibrant introduction Sarah Jane Downing explores the sartorial world of the late-16th century, why people wore the clothes they did, and how the dizzyingly eclectic range of fashions (including ruffs, rebatos and French farthingales) transformed over time.
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