JOINT WINNER - Bethany Pleydell
Mapping the Renaissance Body: English attitudes to Spanish National Dress in C16th
Emerging from Bethany's doctoral research, this paper analyses how and why, at a time when clothing was linked to national identity, English fashion should felect the dress of rival nation, Spain. Through the study of Port Books, State Papers, Patent and Gift Rolls, wills, costume and textiles, this paper illustrates that, despite successive embargoes, war and an increasing xenophobia towards Spaniards, an Anglo-Spanish exchange of material goods persevered throughout the reigns of Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I, resulting in a sizeable presence of Spanish garb in the English household. Ultimately, this paper argues that elite English consumers used foreign Spanish fashions to negotiate their own national identities, and cultural anxieties, vis-à-vis the dominant global power of Spain.
The award will enable Bethany to develop her research further by funding various trips to UK costume collections to study, first-hand, extant sixteenth-century garments.