Friday, July 22nd, 2005

High fashion and history


Leaders have asserted their dominance over lesser mortals throughout the ages, not just through accumulated wealth and gangs of armed and indentured thugs, but also through elaborate finery. “Dressed to Rule,” a new book reviewed in Washington Monthly, details how different leaders sashayed around in elaborate puffery to show they were the boss. Louis XIV stands out as the Fop of all Fops; apparently he wore red high heels that every other member of European nobility coveted, and took an average of 90 minutes to get dressed, with high officials jockeying for position to help him don his coat and settle his periwig. Suddenly wearing a simple business suit doesn’t seem quite so bad.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

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