This dissertation studies the impact of luxury fashion trends from the European Mainland on the British society between 1600s and 1800s.

Aims and objectives:

  • Examination of the relationship between ideology and fashion between the 16th and 18th centuries
  • What sort of influence did ideology have upon the material culture of fashion?
  • What features of fashion can be viewed as downwind from changes in cultural values?
  • Is there a distinction between the fashions of protestant and Catholic polities?
  • As the research focus covers the 16th to 18th century, the research looks at fashion movement and social cultures/ ideology during the Early Modern Era. This is because fashion and ideology were not static across this time. The Protestant Reformation was in some respects a fulfilment of humanistic ideals and in some respects a repudiation of them. It had more in common with the hard-line religiosity of the scholastic tradition than it cared to admit. The Counter-Reformation was response of the Church to the Reformation in Catholic countries. The Enlightenment again may be considered a further intellectual movement on the same trajectory as humanism and Protestantism. The research theorises that across the Catholic and protestant worlds, fashion varied considerably because of the different ideologies. This gives the research a critical edge, so it is not simply observational, but is able to chart a connection between cultural values and cultural objects.
The Relationship between Ideology and Fashion during the Early Modern Era