Call for Papers:

From battlefield to drawing room: textile and (military)

fashion around 1815 

10th-11th June 2015, Royal Military Academy, Brussels, Belgium

June 18, 2015 will mark the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo. Napoleon’s defeat in 1815 put an end to
French period. However, on societal, economic and artistic levels the legacy inherited from the French Empire was
enormous, for Europe in general and for our regions in particular, as under Napoleonic rule the latter had evolved into the continent’s leading industrialized area.

Mechanization of textile production, increased industrialism, shortage of materials and rapid transformations in fashion,military uniforms and arts had fundamentally influenced life in the French Empire. How and to what extent were these changes implemented? What was the effect of Napoleon’s policy on textile production and industry between 1800 and 1820? The Napoleonic era constituted a unique parenthesis in our region’s economic history, as it combined both the opening and the closing of markets. Our provinces indeed gained access to the important French market, but the continental blockade also caused it to lose the British one. Poland and Russia became major influences and their impact was translated very visually through fashion. How did the fall of the Empire affect these situations? Can we say that it provoked a sudden mutation in fashion, as had been the cause a decade earlier, when Napoleon founded the Empire? What were the clothing codes of the Brussels it-people, on the eve of the battle of Waterloo, for the large ball organized by the duchess of Richmond upon initiative of the duke of Wellington? And why do Wellington boots remain so popular, whereas the bicorne hat has completely disappeared? Which uniforms, civilian or military, were innovative and what did they symbolize? For the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo this congress offers an international and interdisciplinary platform to scientists wishing to present new research concerning the era from 1800 to 1820.

Target public
This congress is aimed at researchers, curators, heritage experts, textile and costume historians, managing and/or studying collections from the 1815 era. Contributions by post-graduate students are most welcome. We also hope to reach reenactment groups interested in the Napoleonic period.

The congress will broach following themes, prior and posterior the Battle of Waterloo, 1815:
- Mutual influences between European armies regarding uniforms and equipment
- Stylistic developments in fashion and textile interior decoration
- Technical innovations in the applied arts under Napoleon and after the battle of Waterloo: architecture, interiors and decorations
- The revival of the textile industry under Napoleon in Europe during and after the Battle of Waterloo: cotton, wool,
damask cotton, braid, lace, metal embroidery, textile dyes
- Archaeological textiles, circa 1815
- Multidisciplinary approaches (history, art history, anthropology, economics)

You are kindly invited to submit a paper. Deadline for contributions (title and 300 word summary) is 15th December
2014. Proposals are to be sent to

A scientific committee will select the entries
Each speaker will be granted 20 minutes.
Papers will be published in the congress Proceedings.
Scientific committee:
• Dr. Willem Elias, president of the Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten
and professor of cultural agogics at the VUB
• Ilse Bogaerts, curator collection uniforms and equipment, Royal Military Museum, Brussels
• Dr. Luc François, professor emeritus Contempory History UGent
Invitations will be sent to universities, ICOMAM, ICOM Costume Committee, The Waterloo 200 committee, historic
estate associations, etc.
All questions regarding the congress are to be put to Ilse Bogaerts: (+32) (0)2-737 79 18

Practical information
Venue: Royal Military Academy, rue Hobbema 8, 1000 Brussels, GPS: 50.84451 North: 4.39342 East – locate us (nl).html
Date congress: June 10 – 11, 2015
Fees: 90 euros (students 45 euros)
Languages: Lectures can be given in Dutch, French and English. Lectures in Dutch and French will be translated
simultaneously in English.

CFP: From Battlefield to Drawing Room: Textile and (Military) Fashion around 1815, Brussels, 2015

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