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Brian May on fashion’s most magnificent disaster – Crinoline
Brian May and photo historian Denis Pellerin present the book ‘Crinoline: Fashion’s Most Magnificent Disaster’, a visually striking 3D exploration of one of fashion’s most recognised garments. Featuring contributions from leading fashion designers Dame Vivienne Westwood and Dame Zandra Rhodes, it has been published to coincide with the Undressed: 350 Years Of Underwear exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A Museum).
“You have two incredibly explosive phenomena happening at once in Victorian society. On the one hand, they get to see photography for the first time ever, not only photography, but 3D photography that they can take home to their own drawing rooms and they can experience the world through their stereoscopes. That’s on the one hand.
On the other hand you had this incredible thing called ‘crinoline’, which is giving ladies more and more space around them. And ladies, you have to understand, before that in Victorian times had no status, they were almost invisible. So this started to give women a presence. and when the woman walked into a room with this crinoline around her people had to take notice, they had to give her space.
For me the initial passion was the stereoscopy part, because all these wonderful images of crinolines are in glorious 3D and you can enjoy them. Gradually I realised the importance of what we were looking at through the stereoscope, so it became really the first focus of the stereoscope, if you like.
Wow! I think VR – Virtual Reality – will really make a big impact in the next few years. But it’s stereoscopy… it’s 3D!”
DENIS PELLERIN: “The photos are humorous, I mean, people made fun of crinoline. Mostly they loved to make fun of crinoline because it took just a few women to fill up a room. Very funny! Very funny photo! Everybody wanted a crinoline at the time. We wanted it to be a book about the Victorians as well, so we tried to make them speak.”
BRIAN MAY: “You really feel you could walk in and touch these people, and talk to them about their crinoline dreams… and that’s what the book is, its crinoline dreams…”
Credit BELFAST TELEGRAPH – 15 April 2016