CTS 1: Aesthetic Movement Research Paper

Creative Technical Studio 1

Professor: Jezick Genevieve


T h e  A e s t h e t i c   M o v e m e n t  i n  F a s h i o n

The Aesthetic Movement in Fashion from 1860 to 1900 rejected mass-production of the industrialization era and embraced a new beauty ideal free from corsetry and restriction of the Victorian Era in England. The movement was about flowing gowns, natural colors, and capturing the beauty of the female body with draping. Although there were machines at the time, supporters of the era valued individual craftsmanship. Handmade garments and hand embroidery were highly appreciated and seen as the epitome of beauty and art.

The movement rejected machines because it was believed to be dehumanizing and contributed to the loss of craft. It was based on the saying “art for art’s sake.” Clothing was done by hand for craft’s sake. I think that many of the ideas in the Aesthetic movement are valued today. For example, many people reject over-embellished styles and there is a movement shifting towards minimalism in design. Designers value the clean, simple, yet beautiful aesthetic. When styling clothing, many stylists avoid being “too much” and try to find a right balance between colors and textures. Even today, being natural and effortless, which are two values of the aesthetic movement, are what most people strive for pertaining to beauty. The ideas of the Victorian era are frowned upon as well, since many people do not want to look like they are trying too hard to be beautiful.

If I were living in this era, I would be a part of the Aesthetic movement as well because I like to wear loose, comfortable, yet flattering clothing and I always wear natural makeup with free-flowing hair for an effortless look. Like supporters of the Aesthetic movement, I use jewelry not for adornment, but for the outfit to come together. However, although I do value hand-craftsmanship, I think that there is no problem with machine-made garments. I believe that if there is a machine that can do what humans do faster, then we should take advantage of the efficiency and use our creativity in a new way. I think that in the future, the garment construction process would be even more heavily machine-dominated, with a machine for every step. In my opinion, this is better because it would make the process easier and less time-consuming. What we learn in class may change in the future because there will be more efficient equipment and new technology to aid the process.

I think the aesthetic style could be duplicated today. Even though our world now is heavily machine-dominated, people still value hand craftsmanship. I agree that machines take away the individuality of craftsmanship, and seeing something that is made by hand is refreshing, surprising, and reminds people what hands can do. It is even difficult at times to differentiate what is hand and machine sewn since both can produce beautiful results.





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