Slave to Fashion

Fashion is the strangest concept when you start to think about it. I’ve been reading The Devil Wears Prada, more on that in another post, so I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.

Fashion is basically following what an elite is wearing. It changes so rapidly that most of us are ten steps behind.

I love it when my drama students are studying Theatre History and we look at some of the more absurd fashion that people have worn throughout time. It truly puts fashion into perspective.

Some of my favourites include:

  1. 800px-Double_portrait_(Mantua_school_16c)The Ruff  This developed in the 16th century into a sort of thick crust pizza worn around the neck. I feel claustrophobic in a turtle neck – these must have been unbearable.

two horned wigThe Two Horned Wigs were all the rage in the 17th century. The more height gained the more fabulous you were!

La_canne_feminine_auXVIIIe_sicleFalse Hips were very popular in the 18th  century. These were called ‘side painers’ and must have made getting through doors or snuggling up to your man very difficult. Today we go for sleek and skinny, while back then, the wider the hip the better.
wig Horse Hair Wigs were all the rage in the 18th Century because they kept their shape even in the rain. If you were truly rich your wig would be made of human hair. Wigs have the advantage of saving you from a bad hair day.

BloomerBloomers These were introduced by Mrs Amelia Bloomer from America in 1851. They were ankle length and much more convenient than the wide skirts being worn at the time. Unfortunately these were not an immediate hit – despite being quite useful for walking and getting through doorways. They would only gain popularity when women wore them for riding a bicycle.

Fashion from the past can look so absurd. It reminds me not to let my life be ruled by fashion, in both my dress or ideas. “Everyone is doing it” is an argument that can make you look quite silly.


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