If you’ve ever been curious just how much society is willing to sacrifice in the name of fashion, visit the Bard Graduate Center’s exhibition “Fashioning the Body: An Intimate History of the Silhouette,” opening this Friday. Corsets, panniers, and bustles take center stage at this show, which chronicles the ever-evolving silhouette ideal and the lengths we’ll go to achieve it. Listed below are just five of the outdated sources of high-class fashion.
1. Children’s bodies were perceived as soft and malleable. To deter a potential deformity, children were encased in juvenile versions of their mother’s stays and corsets.
2. During the second half of the eighteenth-century, men lacking muscular legs were afforded the opportunity to pad their socks as calf-baring breeches increased in popularity.
3. Two pockets were thoughtfully accommodated in eighteenth-century double pannier, worn to achieve an arm span-wide fullness of the skirt.
4. An eighteenth-century nursing mother did not need to take off her stay to breastfeed, as clever flaps allowed ease of access for her newborn.
5.At the height of the bustle-craze in the nineteenth-century, a shorter version of the bustle was introduced for added bulk at the backside, known as faux-culs or “fake buttocks.”
So in retrospect, from all of us at Bel Air Jewelry
, we invite you to embrace your own inner beauty. Like a magnificent gemstone that can’t be duplicated, yours is a precious rare gift, that doesn’t need to be trimmed or stuffed into society. Be your own beautiful you today, and let your light shine!