The Body, Fashion, and Physique

After visiting the Museum at FIT and their exhibition on the body and fashion It left me wondering about the evolution and the perception on the body back then in the 19th century and now in the 21 century.

I found that in the 19th century the fashion was shaped around a corset and the body had to conform to the 18’ waistline and its restriction on the health of the women who wore them..the ideal was a mature curvaceous body punctuated by a narrow waist! the bustle introduction suggests that the wearer had a full posterior.

 Martin Margiela, tunic, linen, 1997, Belgium, museum purchase. 2008.91.1.

Martin Margiela, tunic, linen, 1997, Belgium, museum purchase. 2008.91.1.

 Stays, silk brocade, 1750-1760, England, museum purchase. 2016.8.2.

Stays, silk brocade, 1750-1760, England, museum purchase. 2016.8.2.

 

Now back to the 20th century the curvaceous body of the 19th century morphed into the waif-like and thin like body epitomized by the model Twiggy—What a difference!

For me, the restriction on the waistline has transferred to the wearing of Stilettos ( try to walk on a regular NYC pavement at a normal pace!)and again restricting the natural body movement.

 Christian Dior First Stiletto Heel in 1953 

Christian Dior First Stiletto Heel in 1953 

The common fascination of the full posterior accentuated by the bustle in the 19th century found a resonant note in the 21st century with Kim Kardashian’s and the likes.

 Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at the Met Gala

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at the Met Gala

There is a common trend these days and an evolution in the acceptance of a variety of body type and races as a few designers embrace transgender models and some who wear prosthetics, the message is clear that all body is beautiful!

The body for me is another suit of clothes ( as said by Marianne Williamson for the course of Miracles)...it needs to be healthy and I mean health at all level physical ( exercising regularly) mental (what do you feed your mind), emotional (how to avoid stress), and a regular spiritual practice— all in balance !

Now for clothing and fashion what you wear needs to reflect your personality— you wear the clothes—not the other way around! and the elegance that I personally aspire to is but a state of being….a spaciousness.