World 90

In World 90, all genders wear skirts, tails and head-crests that can be fanned out to diameters of up to 8 feet across or neatly folded away. Through scintillating displays of fashion, it is socially acceptable to demarcate physical boundaries.

Crinoline-like clothing forms had spread through society, following a mid-19th century whirlwind romance between Charles Darwin and Josephine Butler. Thenceforth, Darwin and Butler’s combined work encouraged human ornamental display as part of evolutionary advancement and bonding with the animal kingdom. By the early 21st century, with advances in materials with memory, control of personal space has never been more enjoyable.

What if …

COVID-19 social distancing and women’s personal space on public transport were managed by clothing forms such as the crinoline which had never died out, but were instead endless re-invented with lighter, more collapsible materials to became a lasting staple of the garment industry for all genders?

Inspiration:

peacock’s tails, lizard’s crests, cockatoos, birds of paradise, collapsible top hats, coat tails, crinolines, bustles, peinetóns, pop-up tents, Charles Darwin’s Descent of Man, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland

This World was contributed by Sarah Cheang (located in south-east England, UK) using a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence which allows others to share and adapt the work in any medium and for any purpose, providing that they credit the author and share their material using the same Creative Commons licence.

Does this World remind you of something?

I am keen to hear about any historical or contemporary real-world examples – whether individual practices, subcultures or mainstream activities – that this fiction brings to mind.

Please share any such examples using this form. Thank you!

Published by Amy Twigger Holroyd

explorer of Fashion Fictions

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