Given the Billie Eilish cover is prompting a new wave of CORSETS BAD commentary, I need to point out that it's usually *women* who create and promote the corset myth by writing articles etc. about how restrictive/confining/patriarchal they were, without proper research or context
For me, this is a misogynistic act, because the writing erases historical women's agency in making decisions about their bodies, and assume they were all so stupid they were forced into corsets and tightlaced, apparently against their will. Who forces you into your bra?
Too much commentary comes from a subjectivity so deep it is unanalysed: 'this *looks* like it would be uncomfortable on my particular physical form, and I'm so used to modern garments that feel a certain way, any restriction is painful, and therefore would have been in the past'
There is a huge body of work now on the spectrum of corsetting practices in the past and present, and lots of recording of the experiences of women wearers. Yes, sometimes it hurt, like shoes now can hurt, but for the majority of women corsets were a normal, everyday garment.
Corsets are also much better support for women with larger busts, as they distribute the weight more evenly round the torso, rather than relying on the shoulders. We know this from lived experience. A lot of large-busted women have significant back problems in modern bras.
If people who write articles/posts/blogs/opinion pieces about corsets without doing some research - please, at least read Steele - or engaging with actual corset-wearers' opinions, the modern author's presumptions and assumptions silence the various voices of female experience.
Here's @alanna_mck's article on some of the issues around modern attitudes to corsets
Here's a modern book sharing womens' positive experiences wearing corsets…

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More from @FourRedShoes

27 Jan
Here's a full thread of all the #QuarantineFashionHistory

I decided to recreate a look from every decade of the 20th century using only the clothes, accessories and makeup I had in my luggage during mandatory 14 day Australian #hotelquarantine, after 10 months stuck in Britain.
Read 16 tweets
26 Jan
Decade 10 of #QuarantineFashionHistory and the final look - the 1990s.

I caught a serious case of black Lycra in the 90s, one I've never quite shaken, so I went with it. This is inspired by high fashion looks, especially Gaultier, Galliano and Lacroix

Many thanks for inspiration also to Christy Turlington, Yasmeen Ghauri, Versace, Hervé Léger, Anneliese Seubert, Cleo Glyde, Madonna circa Like A Prayer and Dick Tracy, Kevin Aucoin,Tori Amos, and the Springwood Hippy Shop.

That's one of the best selfies I've ever, ever taken
This one is very much for my teenage self, with all her incredible insecurities and big dreams. I've tried very hard to sort out the former and live out the latter, and I think she'd be proud of me. We dreamed of looking like this!
Read 6 tweets
25 Jan
Dress historians!!! I must make you aware that there exists a board game called Rococo, where the premise is 'Make dresses for a prestigious ball while managing your deck of employees!'

It's... quite something.…
Methinks they greatly overestimate the income and size of 18th century mantuamaking businesses. @RebeccaE_M @HottyCouture @TimesmithDress try not to injure yourselves laughing!
and @Serena_Dyer @egernerd - check out this 18th century dressmaking boardgame!!!
Read 4 tweets
24 Jan
Decade Nine of #QuarantineFashionHistory - the 1980s.

The decade my hair has been waiting for. I have to wrest it back from the 80s every morning so finally, I let it run. There were so many options for this one! In the end I did what the hair told me.

#hotelquarantine ImageImageImage
I first became conscious of clothes and fashion and make up in the 80s, so this is an homage to the women in magazine pages I used to tear out and stick on my wall as visions of glossy glamour, plus the accompanying make up instructions.
Clothes: trousers and bodysuit from H&M, Witchery handbag, same belt, necklace and earrings as for the 1910s (context is key), and three pairs of sports socks to make shoulder pads! Image
Read 4 tweets
17 Apr 20
I get to investigate a lot of historic garments in my line of work. It's a joy and a privilege (as well as essential!). This is a thread sharing how I look at dress objects when researching, using photos from archive visits. Lots of juicy digital details for you.
This is a pelisse from c. 1810 made of muslin lined with yellow silk, in the collection of @Fashion_Museum. After I lay the object down, I take a full length back and front shot to record its overall proportions and effects. Not like putting it on a mannequin, but useful.
I sort of stand and think about it as well. Where does it fit in my mental database? What qualities does it have? Is it usual or unusual? Does it confirm trends of the time or have different features? What is the quality, size, fit, construction? Has it been altered or damaged?
Read 27 tweets
2 Jan 20
First, here's an article specifically about the hair.
Some highlights:

'Gerwig encouraged [hair dept] to envision the March sisters as early bohemians and provided photos from ... photographer Julia Margaret Cameron as inspiration.'…
“Greta...suggested that this family and these girls and women were possibly the original hippies” “The hair was always meant to be a little less structured than you see in a lot of period movies. I find that more relatable than coiffures, which are so distinct and untouchable.”
Read 32 tweets

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