Str. Mary's Project 2002
I am interested in using book making, costume design and installation to examine how clothing is used to bind women and how this physical confinement metaphorically relates to the social and mental restraints of women during both the 1850s and today. I wish to examine facial beautifying customs from the 1850's including popular make-up recipes, application, and strategies for wrinkle/blemish removal; as well as figural correction procedures including corsetry, crinolines, and uterine support devices. I then intend to compare these customs to contemporary beautifying techniques including surgical procedures, dieting, and pharmaceutical remedies. Even though ideals of beauty have changed, I aim to point out that women are still pressured by society to go to incredible, often unhealthy efforts to physically maintain or alter their appearance.
I have chosen to educate people about female fashion trends specifically during the mid-nineteen hundreds because it was then that corsets were worn tightest, hoop skirts had reached their fullest, and pessaries were beginning to be used. It is my purpose to raise the consciousness of viewers about the negative effects of female fashion both now and in the past, in hopes that they will reevaluate their personal ideal of beauty and the means with which they choose to obtain it.