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Minnesota Region: What Did Jane Austen Wear? (VIRTUAL)

Apr 13

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

What Did Jane Austen Wear?


Learn from fashion historian Hilary Davidson, whose latest book, Jane Austen’s Wardrobe, reveals for the first time the wardrobe of one of the world’s most celebrated authors. Drawing on Austen’s 161 known letters, as well as her own surviving garments and accessories, this book assembles examples of the variety of clothes she would have possessed—from gowns and coats to shoes and undergarments. It tells the story of how Austen was alert to fashion trends but thrifty and eager to reuse and repurpose clothing. In this presentation, Davidson shares how the book came to be, and some of the discoveries and insights she found along the way.

Davidson is a dress historian and curator, now associate professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She was curator of fashion and decorative arts at the Museum of London from 2007-2012 and has lectured, broadcast, and taught extensively in her field, including presenting on the BBC documentary Pride and Prejudice: Having a Ball (2013). Her reconstruction of Jane Austen’s pelisse (Costume, 2015) led to an extensive study of British Regency dress, published as Dress in the Age of Jane Austen (2019) and Jane Austen’s Wardrobe (2023), both from Yale University Press.

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