Friday, September 19, 2008

Fashion with Advertising During the Victorian Era

There seems to be a huge parallel between women's fashion and advertising during the Victorian Era. It all reflects this idea of being a "proper society" when in reality there was an ugly underside due to industrialization. I love how women looked as if they were stuffed inside corsets with pounds of fabric draped over them to cover as much as there bodies as possible to seem demure. Yet at the same time their evening gowns gave a peek at their shoulders and busty cleavage. I personally think the look is very elegant and beautiful in history, but I can't imagine how hot and uncomfortable it must be to have worn so many layers of clothing. I've included some photos of women's dress I've found searching google images.

Seeing how busy the women's fashion was at the time with layers of clothing, it's obvious how culture at the time reflected upon the advertising. Advertisements weren't designed to have compositional value, but were made to get the message out as quickly as possible to the public. Whatever the message may have been, the goal was to fill up as much white space as possible with art and unmatching text. It looks so cluttered and busy with layers of color and texture. Here are some images of Victorian Era advertising I found searching google images as well.

Women's Fashion and advertising had the same basic idea behind it, having many layers of either fabric or artwork to cover as much as possible, it being on the woman's body or on the page of an ad. As time goes on I can see things becoming more simplified in not only fashion but design as well coming into its own finally, to create structure and clarity.

Michelle Elkin


April G. said...

One of my favorite novels from the Victorian Era is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I recently saw the film on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre. They did an excellent job with the costumes and set. Every time I see this style of clothing, I think of that story. They also did the complete Jane Austen. The style of clothing in those films leaned a bit more towards the looser styles of the Aesthetic movement. Though I'm sure nothing about the dress of that era was comfortable, it was so pretty.

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