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King Creativity at Southwestern

Unmentionables: An Exploration Into the Forms and Functions of Victorian Corsetry and Underpinnings

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Elizabeth Huysman
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Kerry Bechtel

The King Creativity Fund grant awarded to me in 2006 financed my capstone project. The purpose of my capstone project, “Unmentionables: an Exploration into the form and function Victorian Corsets and Underpinnings”, was four fold. Firstly, I hoped to enhance my own artistic and research skills. Secondly, I wanted to challenge my technical, patterning, and construction abilities. Thirdly, I wanted to have the opportunity to both build and direct the building of difficult projects. Finally, I hoped that through my lecture and presentation I could not only educate the campus community about what Victorian women wore under their dress, but also to shed some light on what these constricting and complicated garments meant to the women who wore them.

Thanks to the King Creativity Fund, I was able to achieve all of these goals which made my capstone one of my proudest achievements to date. I created four looks in undergarments and underpinnings from the Victorian period. I made them as accurately as possible thanks to a great amount of research and as well as possible thanks to a great number of hours and a great number of campus supporters. I feel fortunate to have been given the opportunity to create something that was beautiful as well as educational.