Couture and Consensus: Fashion and Politics in Postcolonial Argentina

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Following Argentina's revolution in 1810, the dress of young patriots inspired a nation and distanced its politics from the relics of Spanish colonialism. Fashion writing often escaped the notice of authorities, allowing authors to masquerade political ideas under the guise of frivolity and entertainment. In Couture and Consensus, Regina A. Root maps this pivotal and overlooked facet of Argentine cultural history, showing how politics emerged from dress to disrupt authoritarian practices and stimulate creativity in a newly independent nation. Drawing from genres as diverse as fiction, poetry, songs, and fashion magazines, Root offers a sartorial history that produces an original understanding of how Argentina forged its identity during the regime of Juan Manuel de Rosas (1829-1852), a critical historical time. Couture and Consensus closely analyzes military uniforms, women's dress, and the novels of the era to reveal fashion's role in advancing an agenda and disseminating political goals, notions Root connects to the contemporary moment. An insightful presentation of the discourse of fashion, Couture and Consensus also paints a riveting portrait of Argentine society in the nineteenth century--its politics, people, and creative forces.