“Re-defining the Body” at Gunnersbury Park Museum
Victorian designs inspire cutting edge fashions in new exhibition
Cutting edge fashions created by students from the University of East London, together with their source of inspiration— original Victorian corsets and crinolines from the Gunnersbury collections will form part of a new exhibition.
Gunnersbury Park Museum have been collecting material since 1929 and now have a huge archive of local and social history. The clothing collections at Gunnersbury are studied by students from several major London colleges, who visit every year.
Students on the University of East London Fashion and Marketing course made detailed studies of the nineteenth century underwear at Gunnersbury and other museums.
In the nineteenth century it was fashionable to exaggerate and distort the female body. Waists were pulled in by tightly laced corsets, busts and shoulders were padded and hips were given a range of shapes with boned and wired petticoats.
This exhibition shows original corsets, a crinoline, a bustle and other Victorian underwear from the Gunnersbury collections. Beside them are the students’ copies, some of which are so good that it is hard to tell which are which. For people interested in how the complicated nineteenth century corsets were made, the students’ sketchbooks show their detailed drawings and patterns.
Finally, the exhibition will show the amazing garments which the students produced using the sewing and constructions techniques they had learned from the corsets and crinolines. A range of jackets, made up in calico, use padding, wiring and lacing to create incredible space age designs.
February 25, 2005