The essays in this volume discuss the visible elements, such as clothing, jewellery, the opulence of the elite, fashion and styles, but they also inform the reader about the manner in which these were connected to political and social developments. The articles in this volume highlight important themes regarding the history of textiles, the shifting of trading and manufacturing centres, the professionalization of the various fields in the history of fashion, and the connection with the introduction and proliferation of steam-powered machines and later of electrical equipment. Clothes and garments are also part of the social and political transformations brought about by the multiple modernisations of the various Balkan societies. Fabrics, colours, threads, barrels and buttons, lace and jewellery are marvellous documents that bring to life details of the remote worlds of our ancestors, helping us understand the complex meanings of sartorial appearances. The Balkans and the Orient are regions that offer promising avenues of multidisciplinary research concerning clothes and fashion as indicators of social status and political change.
About the Author: Constanta Vintila-Ghitulescu is Senior Researcher at the Nicolae Iorga Institute of History in Bucharest, Romania; Associate Professor in the Faculty of Sociology, University of Bucharest; and author of many books including Liebesglut: Liebe und Sexualitat in der rumanischen Gesellschaft 1750-1830 (Berlin: Frank & Timme, 2011).