‘Paris Fashions made in Lyon’: Louis XIV to The French Revolution

Professor Lesley Miller

15th June 2022

June '22 - French silk


This lecture explores a crucial time in the development of European silk weaving, when lustrous and colourful figured silks, many scintillating with silver and gilt threads, demonstrated designers’ and weavers’ artistic and technical virtuosity, and catered for both fashionable and ceremonial dress and furnishings. It reveals how the French state and Lyonnais manufacturers went about whetting wealthy customers’ appetites by encouraging innovation in design, manufacture and sales – and thus creating a seasonal fashion textiles system.


Lesley was Senior Curator of Textiles and Fashion at the V&A for sixteen years, and has been Professor of Dress and Textile History at the University of Glasgow since 2013. After reading for an MA in Hispanic Studies in Glasgow, she studied History of Dress at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Her doctoral studies at Brighton University stimulated her continuing fascination with 18th century silks, her main publication in this field being Selling Silks. A Merchant’s Sample Book of 1764 (2014).