Fashion has a way of revealing the social atmosphere of an era. The gilded age was a time when many great fortunes were made and the rich celebrated wealth as never before. Women’s fashion was marked by corsets and full skirts, bustles, opulence and frivolous excess. In effect, this uniform created a gilded cage as it limited the physical and mental freedom of women. As women’s roles and fashion evolved past the gilded age, so did the notion of what was considered proper and feminine. Hoop skirts, crinoline and corsets were a thing of the past as women chose to wear looser fitting garments to fit their new found freedoms.
This collection explores the evolution of the “gilded cage” — from the Victorian Era to modern day. Elements from late 19th century fashion have been analyzed and repurposed for the digital age. We aim to create a seamless integration of multiple materials, textures and processes to showcase the rich complexity of the gilded age. Bead work and textiles become one cohesive statement while telling the story of the woman in the gilded cage.—Clothing: Sarah NelsenJewelry: Sara CramerPhotography: Samantha LeviMakeup & Hair Styling: Jamie Miller Hair ParlourModels: Kat Richardson, Maria Dawes, Voices&