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UAL Research Online

AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion

Bolton, Andrew (2006) AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-11785-1

Type of Research: Book
Creators: Bolton, Andrew

This catalogue was published as a record of the exhibition AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (May–September 2006).

The exhibition followed another exhibition Andrew Bolton curated at The Metropolitan Museum of Art entitled 'Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century' (April–September 2004), for which he also wrote the catalogue (2006). Both exhibitions presented dressed mannequins in Museum’s period rooms, Dangerous Liaisons in the French period rooms and AngloMania in the English period rooms. While this type of display is neither unique nor original, what was innovative and paradigm-shifting about both exhibitions was their installation and interpretation.

In AngloMania, contemporary British fashion was presented alongside historical costume in fictive vignettes that drew on artistic and literary references. Traditionally, the display of costume in period rooms follows strict formal and chronological guidelines. By mixing modern and historical fashions, AngloMania upended and disrupted these guidelines with the intention of revealing a conceptual continuum of idealized constructs of Englishness. These romantic constructs, which included class, sport, royalty, pageantry, eccentricity, the English gentleman, and the English country garden, were presented not only as products of the European and American gaze but also of the English gaze.

The exhibition revealed that Englishness, despite social, political, and economic developments, is maintained by its mythologies, the most powerful being that of timelessness. Like mixing old clothes with new clothes, the presence of costumes in the English period rooms provided a contextual relativity that was at once startling and seductive. More poignantly, it presented a vortex for nostalgic and utopian longings, the essence of Englishness.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Yale University Press
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: 2006
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 22:47
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2010 14:47
Item ID: 1580
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1580

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