Unchained Melody Sophie DeFrancesca

Mixed Media
64 × 27 × 30 inches
162.56 × 68.58 × 76.2 cm

With the addition of silver paint and swarovski crystals the artist has transformed galvanized steel mesh, wire and liquid rubber into a haunting reminder of an important development in women's fashion at the close of la Belle Epoque in Paris. An homage to women's clothing designer Jeanne Margaine-Lacroix, this sculpture celebrates a moment in the spring of 1908 when three models walked into the Longchamp racetrack and debuted lightly corseted dresses in silk jersey that clung to and outlined the hips and thighs. Known as the "Longchamp incident" it appeared scandalously that the women were not wearing what was considered underwear at the time. The women were free of the bulky full corset, petticoat and chemise. This event and the Merveilleuse dress was an important turning point in fashion at the close of the Victorian Era that helped liberate women from oppressive and confining dress.

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