Hysteria Collection Pt.2

This collection is inspired by a Gender Studies course I took at Brown University called Convulsive Beauty: Hysteria in the Arts.  The course analyzed the history of hysteria from as late as the 17th century to modern day.  Hysteria is a specifically female phenomena in which emotional pain manifests as physical symptoms; These symptoms are brought about by oppression.  These women were labeled as excessively feminine, overly emotional, too much, disgusting, dangerous, other worldly, while also being seen as incredibly beautiful and intriguing.  While historically men used hysteria as a diagnosis to silence and marginalize women, modern feminist have reclaimed the term to celebrate women being outspoken, bold, and visible. The garments take inspiration from a variety of material from the class including medical journal articles, fiction novels, and modern music videos.  The class involved analyzation of modern music videos from artists such as Beyonce and FKA Twigs, and looked to performing artists as an example of women who are shamelessly outspoken and visible.  As performance was a major theme throughout the class, my garments developed with the idea that they would be worn as costumes for female performers. My thesis overall aims to tell the stories of these historically silenced women. In telling these stories I wanted to acknowledge the grotesque history of hysteria while also celebrating the modern woman’s move toward shameless self expression, boldness, and visibility.

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