Fashions of the Future… From the Past

A friend forwarded me this hilarious Victorian history of fashion from 1893-1993published by The Strand Magazine in 1893. It was obviously difficult for the author to conceive of the modern, svelte silhouette of the ’20s — to say nothing of the rest of the 20th century — and this really demonstrates how radical the 20th century abandonment of the corset and padded girth really was. Hats, too, are included in all the projected future ensembles, indicative of the necessity of millinery to complete a respectable outfit in the 19th century through the early 1960s. I enjoy how theatrical all the proposed designs are, calling to mind capes and billowing veils of fairy tales more than The Distant Future. It’s just fascinating to be reminded that fashion, for all it tries to anticipate the next season / next year / next decade, is still firmly rooted in contemporary ideals of beauty and functionality.


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