Vivienne Farwood Mini-Crini Film Analysis

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This essay will attempt to examine fashion designer Vivienne Westwood’s intriguing fusion of 19th Century crinoline with the 1960’s mini in her S/S 1985 ‘Mini-Crini’ (fig.1), and the sexual connotations that arise from the conjunction of these two extreme fashions in relation to the female form.
Admitting in an interview conducted by i-D magazine in 1987 the to having had the idea years prior while in the midst of designing the Seditionaries collection of the late 70’s, Westwood decided to keep the ‘Crini’ under her belt deciding her much famed punk collection endorsed by the Sex Pistols was “strong enough without it.” “Working in Italy from 1984 to 1986 she developed the crinoline as the ‘Mini Crini’,
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the use of past fashions as a source of inspiration for fashion designers and students- an approach that Westwood takes toward the majority of her collections, the ‘Mini-Crini’ an obvious example as it is an amalgamation of 19th Century crinoline and the 1960’s Mini - two iconic styles of dress representing entirely different eras of fashion. The ‘Crini' concoction clearly showcases the designer’s rich engagement with history on a number of levels.

“The Mini-Crini of S/S 1986 played with the ideas of a heightened femininity by framing the body in a swaying bell-shaped skirt, a flirtatiously abbreviated version of the mid-nineteenth century crinoline.” (Arnold, 2002)

…blending garments and eras that are seemingly so incongruous, in this case miniskirt, corset and crinoline, she creates clothes that are visually jarring, bringing together familiar elements seen in countless other images, yet fracturing their usual meanings by placing them in a new context. (Arnold, 2002)

Crinolines became a necessity in the late 18th century

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