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.