American Woman

American Woman : Fashioning a National Identity

By (author) Andrew Bolton

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This intriguing book will examine how the ideal of the American Woman evolved from 'Old World' ideas of elegance into a specifically American sensibility. At the same time, it will explore the impact of the image of the American Woman on haute couture, revealing how the 'slender American Diana' displaced the 'rounded French Venus' as the prevailing archetype of beauty to emerge as the enduring symbol of style and glamour in the twentieth century. This unique publication includes archetypes of American femininity from the Gilded Age to the Golden Age of Hollywood that include "The Grand Dame", "The Heiress", "The Gibson Girl", "The Bohemian", "The Suffragist", "The Patriot", "The Flapper", and "The Screen Siren", illustrated with costumes from the Brooklyn Museum collection designed by Worth, Poiret, Patou, Chanel, Lanvin, Schiaparelli, James, Valentina, and others.

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  • Paperback | 72 pages
  • 31 May 2010
  • Yale University Press
  • New Haven
  • English
  • 125 colour illustrations
  • 0300165536
  • 9780300165531
  • 1,634,036

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Author Information

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

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