By Clare Haru Crowston
"Fabricating girls" examines the social establishment of the seamstresses’ guild in France from the time of Louis XIV to the Revolution. by contrast with earlier scholarship on ladies and gender within the early smooth interval, Clare Haru Crowston asserts that the increase of absolutely the nation, with its centralizing and unifying developments, might truly bring up women’s monetary, social, and felony possibilities and make allowance them to thrive in company firms akin to the guild. but Crowston additionally finds paradoxical effects of the guild’s luck, corresponding to how its becoming club and visibility eventually fostered an essentialized femininity that used to be tied to type and appearances.
Situating the seamstresses’ guild as either an fiscal and political establishment, Crowston explores specifically its courting with the all-male tailors’ guild, which had ruled the garments fabrication alternate in France until eventually ladies challenged this monopoly in the course of the 17th century. Combining archival facts with visible pictures, technical literature, philosophical treatises, and type journals, she additionally investigates the thoughts the seamstresses used to make and promote garments, how the clothes mirrored and formed smooth conceptions of femininity, and guild officers’ interactions with royal and municipal professionals. eventually, by means of providing a revealing portrait of those women’s deepest lives—explaining, for example, what number seamstresses went past conventional woman barriers by way of deciding upon to stay unmarried and determine their very own households—Crowston demanding situations current principles approximately women’s paintings and relatives in early smooth Europe.
Although garments lay on the center of French fiscal creation, social contrast, and cultural identification, Fabricating Women is the 1st e-book to enquire this giant and archetypal lady guild intensive. will probably be welcomed by way of scholars and students of French and eu background, women’s and exertions historical past, model and expertise, and early smooth political economic climate.
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Additional resources for Fabricating Women: The Seamstresses of Old Regime France, 1675–1791
Their ideas about fashion were shaped by the evolution of the garment trades and by the creation of a seamstresses’ guild with rights over women’s and children’s clothing. Before we turn to these debates, however, let us take the simpler step of examining the evolution of styles of female clothing in France from the [ 30 ] fabricating women 1670s to the end of the Old Regime. This discussion will illuminate the diﬀerent garments being made and worn as well as the shifting economic territory occupied by the seamstresses after 1675.
After 1658, this royal oﬃcial held jurisdiction over the Parisian guilds, including the responsibility for receiving oaths of loyalty from all new guild members. Records from the procurator’s oﬃce named the men and women accepted to the Parisian guilds from 1735 to 1791 and their path of entry. This source permitted me to draw conclusions about patterns of trade transmission as well as the accessibility of the seamstresses’ and tailors’ guilds over time. The king’s procurator at Châtelet also acted as magistrate for guild aﬀairs.
In societies with a wide range of styles, a considerable play within and against established dress codes is possible. MarieAntoinette bore very little resemblance to a real shepherdess when she dressed up at the Trianon in Versailles, but she acted out a broader, elite discourse preaching a return to ‘‘natural’’ ways of living. In contrast to the linguistic systems to which it is often compared, clothing permits its wearer to resist established hierarchies and traditions without manifesting overt deﬁance.