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Market à la Mode

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Market à la Mode

Fashion, Commodity, and Gender in The Tatler and The Spectator

How eighteenth-century fashion publications assumed a leading role in defining women's legitimate sphere of activities.

In Market à la Mode, Erin Mackie examines the role that The Tatler and The Spectator, two eighteenth-century British lifestyle magazines, played in the growth of fashion and how they influenced their readers. She traces the commercial context in which they operated, focusing on the processes of commodification, fetishization, and revisions of gender identity. Mackie's study makes clear that fashion publications, far from being commentaries on passing trends, assumed a leading role in defining women's legitimate sphere of activities as well as in the development of commerce as recreation.