This paper aims to investigate how the body has been distorted, to conform to the demands of fashion, through the cut and construction of fashionable clothing. Initially it will set out to investigate some of the technical methods that have been developed to enable designers to realise fashionable silhouettes. First hand research into the costume archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum and final year 2008 fashion student’s collections from the University of Huddersfield, will facilitate an examination of relevant fashion garments through observation and handling. It will also be interesting to consider how the technology employed in the identified garments can be updated and in particular made more comfortable to wear. This would be of particular interest to fashion students and designers when developing collections. As well as enhancing technical knowledge the investigation will naturally also begin to emphasise the wider moral and health questions that arise from altering the natural shape of our bodies
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