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STRICTURE SERIES

It was necessary for women of the mid-nineteenth, through the early twentieth centuries to conform to societal standards of their day. These standards obligated them to constrict their bodies with corsetry, which resulted in deforming and displacing their internal organs. The resulting physical ramifications included a malaise known as Neurasthenia. Thought to be a form of depression, it left the sufferer feeling listless. A general complaint was the inability to breathe easily and continued discomfort in the chest and the abdominal areas. Life threatening results sometimes occurred. It was only at these times that the evidence of the deformation of the internal organs was detected, which in some instances resulted in death.

Women, who willingly submitted their bodies to this unnecessary constraint, were merely conforming to the standards that society placed upon them. In order to gain acceptance they endured untold discomfort and sometimes death all to appease the expectations of society.

The Stricture Series is a commentary on the visual and physical aspects of this standard, whereby a beautiful object can appear solely decorative. As a neckpiece it compliments the feminine silhouette from the jaw line down the shoulder to the breast. When reversed and worn as a tiara on the head, it enables the wearer to perceive themselves as elegant; unaware of its subliminal implications. Upon careful observation however, one notes that this fragile, golden fretwork is actually constricting and limiting the movement of its wearer. Each breath must be anticipated. Each movement controlled so as not to induce discomfort. Hopefully, women today have benefited from the experiences of those who have gone before them; however, even as this is composed the dictates of fashion have women asking themselves what will it be? PAIN OR PLEASURE.