Princess line dress: 19th century
© Museum of London
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Princess line dress. Some women rejected mainstream fashion. This figure huging, princess line incorporates many features which dress reformers and feminists campaigned against on the grounds of health, safety and practicality. The dresse's weight -approx. 2 1/2 kilos- is due to its heavy boned bodice, sweeping train and internal construction. Its carefully placed tape ties adjust the fullness of the skirt constricting it to the body and hampering any movement. The fashion for excessive decoration was also condemmed 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. The dress is made of silk satin, trimmed with panels of machine embroidery, cotton machine lace and silk fringe trimming.
1878 AD - 1882 AD