The Latest Style: The Fashion Writing of Bianca Valmont and Economies of Domesticity

From her base in Paris, Bianca Valmont reported fashion and cultural trends for Ultima Moda, a magazine published in Madrid and circulated throughout the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America and the Philippines from 1888 to 1898. Her column was at first strictly descriptive of new styles. But within weeks, Valmont tired of mere description, defied her editor, and tackled the social and ethical function of fashion. She thus became the longest running fashion critic of her time in Spain. She attached consumption not only to a discourse on domesticity, but also to a great political discourse of civilized society.

Kathleen E. Davis holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley, and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Tulane University in New Orleans. Her work focuses on 18th and 19th century Castilian and Catalan culture, particularly the representation of economics and commodities in literature.