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November 13, 2012 > Victorian Fashion Show

Victorian Fashion Show

Submitted By Al Minard

Twenty Bay Area artists recently photographed and painted eight models in Victorian costumes among the historic buildings and trees at Fremont's Shinn Park. Come see the artistic results of the day and witness the fashions of yesteryear at the free "Victorian Models and Artist's Fashion Show" at the Fremont Main Library on Saturday, November 17.

Models will be present in their period clothes and explain the many layers that comprise their costumes. Learn about hoop skirts, crinoline, bustles, corsets, cage crinoline, pantaloons, and more. There will also be talk about the historical events that inspired some of the fashion changes: King William IV died in 1837 with no heir, so his 18-year-old niece Victoria became the Queen of England and Ireland until her death in 1901.

During the Regency Period, 1800 - 1820, female dress was designed on Classical Principles. The Victorian period from 1820 - 1900 was based on Gothic principles. These two styles are diametrically opposed in their function. The Classical exploited the shape of the body; the Gothic exploited the shape of the dress.

When cage crinoline became available they were somewhat inexpensive so that all classes of women could afford them. The invention of the sewing machine in the 1850s provided the opportunity for all women to make their own dresses. This did not make the upper classes happy, so design differences were instituted to make a fashion difference between upper class women and everyone else. This included the restrictive corset and addition of the bustle.

This event will include the opening of the artists' exhibit upstairs in the History Room with over 20 paintings of the session at Shinn Park, many of which will be available for purchase by contacting the artist directly. Artwork will be on display until the end of December.

Talk to the models and the artists who painted them and learn what it was like for women over 100 years ago.

The Christmas Open House schedule for the 1876 Shinn House will also be introduced.

Victorian Models and Artist's Fashion Show
Saturday, Nov 17
Noon - 1 p.m.
Fremont Main Library
Fukaya Room
2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont
(510) 745-1401

Photo Caption: Models in hoop skirts in front of the 1850's Sim Cottage at Shinn Park.

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