Fashionable History

Yesterday was my favorite day of the trip thus far. We went to the Victoria & Albert Museum in the morning, and it was by far the best museum we’ve been to. The exhibit of dresses from the past 300 years of British history was truly amazing. I’ve been enthralled with the fashion in London since I’ve been here. I try to keep up with the trends in America (well as much as I can on a Forever 21 budget), but I feel so far behind here!

The dresses from the 18th and 19th century were beautiful and extravagant, yet they highlighted the ways in which women were treated: an object to look at, confined by a corset, and something to be consumed. Part of me finds these dresses so interesting and exciting to look at, but as what some would call a “raging feminist” these dresses make me so angry. It seems as though England and America’s pasts are very similar in the way they treated women. There are a lot of differences between the two cultures, but the fashion exhibit showed me that English and American cultures both have very anti-feminist histories.

Nevertheless, I was mostly pleased with the fashion exhibit. It was so interesting to see British fashion, and British women, progress throughout history. The vintage bathing suits and 1950s party dresses were my favorite parts of the exhibit. I could even see myself wearing both today.

I loved the Victoria & Albert Museum, and although the fashion exhibit revealed Britain’s objectifying past, it inspired me to try and keep up with the fashion in London. I’m planning on doing some shopping here soon, so even if I can’t be as trendy as Londoners, hopefully I can bring some trends from here back to Lowell!

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