Welcome to a new episode of my Friday Fashion!
It is so amazing to see how through centuries fashion shifts its attention to various parts of a human body and attributes a sexy role to those parts to keep us interested. In the Renaissance for instance a woman forehead was considered very sexy only if it was exposed really high. To achieve that look women shaved the front hairline and then gathered all the hair in the back of the neck like a skein of wool enclosed in an elegant net.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, the attention shifted on the woman’s breast. Tight corsets pushed up the breasts to enormous proportions, reducing the woman’s torso into a funnel look with a tiny waist and bulging boobs, making breathing very difficult.
In the 1800s through the era of La belle Époque, the “Cul De Crin” came into fashion to emphasize the woman’s derrière. It was a puffy cushion made of horsehair tied in the waist, laid on the derrière and worn under the skirt. Older women carried a larger and stuffier cul de crin. It threw the woman’s figure onward, as if she walked on tiptoes.
In traditional Japanese culture the nape of a woman’s neck held a strong attraction for many Japanese men. Face, hands and nape were the only parts of the body left uncovered.
During the ’20s and ’30s legs came into full attention, women got rid of corsets, shorten the dress and exposed the legs for the first time. Mary Quant, British designer conquered the world in the 60’s with her new invention: the Mini Skirts. Legs are now in plain view from top to bottom, often starting as high as the crotch.
I could go on and on with these examples on how fashion extrapolate parts of the human body and turns them into the subject of sex from era to era.
Don’t think for a minute that men are not subjected to the ferocious scrutiny and volubility of fashion. Men have had their fair share through times, although men’s dress style has not changed much in the last 100 years.
Going to the Renaissance Fair last Autumn I was reminded of the “Codpiece” worn during the 15th and 16th centuries. It was a time of economic and territorial expansion, a period in which the display of virility exaggerating the masculine attributes in any form of public life played a major part in a competitive culture. A codpiece (braguette in French) is a covering flap or pouch attached to the front of the crotch of men’s trousers to accentuate the genital area. Men enlarged the codpiece with padding, it served as a protection of men’s precious jewels and as an accent of their best points. Basically they advertised what nature gave them.
The men’s jewelry is still in great attention, just the wrong attention, now we have the sagging pants. The sights of young lads wearing sagging pants down to their knees, showing their boxers in plain view overwhelm us. When are they going to understand this dressing style is not sexy and their walk resembles more the walk of troglodyte cave men. The worse part of this trend is to see women doing it as well.
Girls if you think to be sexy looking like that, think again! The art of showing and not showing, to see and not to see, the art of making yourself mysterious is sexy, revealing everything you have is cheap. Make the mirror your best friend.
Guys, when you go to a job interview with your undies showing and your pants sagging to your knees, do you really think you will get a job? Kings and nobles did not need a job, with their power they did what they pleased and if that meant wearing a large stuffed up codpiece to magnify their virility, they did so and set the trends for others. You are not in the same power! Ciao,
Open this link and scroll down the page to find my Fashion Services
Copyright © 2015 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola is a trained Fashion and Interior Designer, working in the USA and Europe. Born in Italy in a family of artists, style surrounded her since the beginning of her life. Her many years of experience led her to offer consultations in both specializations and now she can remodel homes as well as personal images. To better help people in the world she offers consultations online. She is the author of three books. Get your copy of Valentina’s book on colors: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors on