Dress Reform, Architecture, and Modernism

This is the animated diagram showing the relationships between dress reform and architecture that I linked from my blog post "Dress Reform, Architecture, and Modernism". As I explained there, it didn't work when I included it in that post, probably because of interference from WordPress styles. Press the "Next" button below to show the development of ideas. Press the "Reset" button to clear everything.



Reformed   Le Corbusier and others

(But note that the blacks and whites are very assertive. The modernists could not see that white walls are also a form of decoration, that architecture — as also dress — is always also the production of surfaces.)




Dress reformer thinks: Decoration = Fashion
Decoration = Superficiality and women

Part of a larger logic:
Rationalism (the civilising tendency) = Male
Rationalism (the civilising tendency) =Must overcome the primitive and superficial

Indeed in its more extreme forms, colour and print become associated not only with a kind of non-civilised and irrational world, as illustrated in na´ve or primitivist art assumed to be analogous with the pre-modern, but also with the dangerous, the uncontrolled, the images of the drugged and the bestial. Women are seen as the conservative force retaining a less civilised and superficial fascination with colour and the decorative.

An opposition


Rationalism applied to aesthetic form
White = purity, the hygenic, the pristine

I took the two images from this drawing:

It is reprinted under a Creative Commons licence in "'One needs to be very brave to stand all that': Cycling, rational dress and the struggle for citizenship in late nineteenth century Britain" by KatrinaJungnickel, Geoforum 64, August 2015. According to this, the original was published in The Rational Dress Gazette: Organ of the Rational Dress League, 1899.