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Understanding the Titanic Through Fashion

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Understanding the Titanic Through Fashion

The sinking of the RMS Titanic on its maiden voyage has become one of history's most tragic and fascinating stories. The ship was a floating microcosm of 1912 society, still bound by the rigidity of a long-established class system and characterized by the polarization of rich and poor. In Titanic Style: Dress and Fashion on the Voyage (Skyhorse Publishing, November 2012), historian Grace Evans invites us onto the ship in an examination of the clothing worn by its passengers for not only an historic snapshot of fashion, but a springboard into the lives of virtually all classes and ages at that particular moment in time.

Titanic Style leads us through the wardrobes of passengers and crew of all classes and ages, from the most intimate undergarments to the warm overcoats needed on that last fearful cold night. The luxurious attire of the ladies in first class, the cream of European and American society, was changed several times a day, while the more sober and conservative clothes of the men of all ranks subtly conveyed their status, and the children were dressed to enhance their social standing. We also visit the families below deck, dressed in secondhand or homemade clothes, heading for a new life in a country free of repressive class distinction. Stories and records of individual passengers and crew members are woven into the narrative to give an engaging account of what life was really like on board the world's most famous ocean liner.

About the Author

Grace Evans studied history at the University of York. Passionate about the history of fashion, she began her career at the Museum of London before taking the post of Keeper of Costume at Chertsey Museum, which she has held for over ten years. In addition to curating a series of fashion exhibitions, she regularly lectures and writes about the history of dress. Her book Fashion in Focus-1600 to 2009: Treasures of the Olive Matthews Collection at Chertsey Museumwas published in 2011. She lives in England.

 

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