Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Victorian Era

The most interesting aspect of the Victorian era to me was its chauventistic treatment of women. During a period of time, in which Prostitution skyrocketed to an all time high (Estimated 8,000 prostitutes in London alone), it was very prudish and hypocritical of ladies apparel. It was considered taboo to show ankle or even say the word "leg" in public, but at the same time ladies wore corsets to enhance their bust lines and excentuate their hips. They also wore a carriage under their dresses to look like they have a buttocks suitable for a Sir Mix a Lot video. One aspect I don't see feasible, is that in an era of extreme prudishness, Women in advertising were almost always depicted as nude or highly erotic (Mainly in Europe). In my opinion, it was the overbearing moral contstraints of the time that led people left desiring something more... particularly prostitutes.

1 comment:

April G. said...

Regarding the clothing of the Victorian Era, check out this site that I found. It's really interesting. It goes into detail about what the different types of clothing were like at different periods during the era. Some of the most interesting things I discovered are: (1) Modern vegetarianism & animal welfare movements has it's roots in the Aesthetic Movement (William Morris) (2) When Aesthetic Dress became popular, the women wearing that style (looser cuts, no corset, flowing fabrics, flat shoes, healthier and more comfortable to wear) those women were thought to have loose morals, based on the fact that they had looser clothing vs. the type of clothes you mentioned in your blog (3) red hair was ridiculed and thought of as a "social assassination" ??? and finally (4) mourning etiquette - mourning the loss of a loved one was quite expensive. There were stages of mourning and attire that was to be worn during each stage. There were also rules to be followed, such as when certain fabrics could be introduced into your mourning clothes, even buttons, ribbons etc. Tiny details. Middle-class women couldn't always afford to mourn fashionably, as they were suppose to. My opinion is that it shouldn't have been so much about the fashion, but about the person who had passed away. It was almost as though the clothing the woman wore resembled how much the family was mourning. Something there just seems a bit backwards.

I certainly am happy that we are past all this. Though I love looking at the fashions of this era, I don't think I would have been good at folllowing all of the fashion rules!