Princess line dress, back view: 19th century
© Museum of London
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Princess line dress, back view. Silk satin trimmed with panels of machine embroidery, cotton machine lace and silk fringe trimming. This figure huging, princess line incorporates many features which dress reformers and feminists campaigned gainst on the grounds of health, safety and practicality. It's weight (approx. 2 1/2 kilos) heavilt boned bodice, sweeping train and internal construction of carefully placed tape ties to adjust the fullness of the skirt constricted the body and hampered movement. The fashion for excessive decoration was also condemned as pretentious, tasteless and wasteful. Women were compared to the fussily trimmed furnishings in their drawing rooms and by implication presented as commodities whose main role was to be decorative within the confines of the home.
1878 AD - 1882 AD