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Julia Jones

Gowns, Liberation & Intersectionality (Untitled) 


This gown was made in response to gowns of the 1800s, feminism and sumptuary laws around this period. Early narratives of what an “earnest, solid, hardworking woman” should look like plagued early feminist circles on one end and the restrictive nature of the fashions of the time attacked from the other. Fashion seemed to be at odds with feminism from either direction. This contrast was heightened by sumptuary laws which criminalized “excessive dress” and put restrictions on luxurious items being worn by people deemed as lower-class. This dress draws from years of feminist progress and intersectionality work to say that our manner of dress should not dictate our ability or opportunity, nor should it be allowed to be dictated by arbitrary restrictions. This gown embraces materials banned by sumptuary laws such as metallic thread and ruffles, while the image accompanying it speaks to the political nature of women’s dress.

Sector C

Gregory Vershbow (VLST)