Toronto Metropolitan University
Zygowski_Anna_K.pdf (9.85 MB)

Appropriateness and appropriation: examining Modernist couture connections to Edwardian lingerie and boudoir clothing

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posted on 2021-05-24, 12:20 authored by Anna K. Zygowski
This research explores material artifacts of Edwardian lingerie and Modernist couture through their cultural and material connections. Material culture theories of communication and production were used to examine garment artifacts from both Eras, while a conceptual framework provided a space to develop material outcomes and knowledge based upon research. Key findings from the research show that the cultural commodification of the female body, increased female agency and the fragmentation of social structures resulted in the development of specialized garments uniquely suited to the cultural requirements of the Modernist Era. Cultural producers continually adapted design practices and transformed dress signifiers of value in a cycle of appropriation and transformation. In addition, the appropriation of labour intensive Edwardian Era Lingerie techniques by Modernist couture houses supported the development of exclusive commodities whose design process was key to preventing devaluation through counterfeiting. Ultimately, a collection of garments resulted from a design exploration of these techniques, using action and practitioner research.



  • Master of Arts


  • Fashion

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP