Victorian fashion history influences modern textile artist

Alessia Sushko in Abstract of Recollections and Andre Ornish wears ‘attorney Lamb stares down a ruffian’ at the Petiti Palais in Paris. (Photograph by Sharon Avraham)

Mary Ornish presented a lecture, “Tattered Splendor,” at The Gaslamp Quarter Historic Basis in the Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton Property on Jan. 18. The lecture collection Background Talks! is back once more for 2023. Ornish, who goes by MartyO, is an internationally regarded textile artist. The presentation spoke about her like for the Victorian manner period and how she employs elements from this interval in her wearable artwork ensembles. She employs unconventional classic linens and patchwork quilts as her material. She is a massive advocate for sustainable manner and zero-squander styles.

Product demonstrates a wearable art piece made from the pieces of the Crazy Quilt named ‘Still ridiculous immediately after all these years’ (Photograph by Steve Ornish)

1 of the exceptional sections of this presentation was all the details she gave on the risks of Victorian trend. Throughout this time period persons gained arsenic and copper poisoning from the particularly popular Scheels emerald environmentally friendly dyed fabric utilized for gowns and wallpaper. When these green dresses became moist, poisonous gases were emitted. Females wore direct-based make-up in purchase to have a pale complexion. This was harming to their facial and hand nerves. Another danger were the hoop skirts and massive crinolines worn in the course of this period. They were both equally fireplace dangers, and the hems of these gowns picked up and carried unwanted germs, lice and ended up thought to transmit typhoid. In 1864, it was documented that 39,927 gals died from their attire catching on fireplace.

Dyed feathers for massive hats lead to much more poisoning and illness. Feathered hats decimated several of the fowl species nearly to the verge of extinction. Additional dangers ended up the corsets that compressed ribs and pushed the inside organs upwards, causing physical health problems and mobility issues, top to falls. Celluloid hair combs exploded when girls stood close to a heat source these types of as fireplaces.

Last but not least, MartyO talked over how mercury, which is poisonous, was used to create men’s best hats. This was the place the time period ‘Mad As A Hatter’ originated. Numerous of the employees these types of as seamstresses, hat makers, and feather dyers were being more than-exposed to harmful toxins. They labored in deplorable conditions and turned ill. However, this however occurs nowadays. Numerous folks around the planet do the job in incredibly unsafe textile factories that deliver dresses with harmful chemical substances in the cloth.

MartyO’s wearable artwork piece Modern Widow. (Picture by Steve Ornish)

Previous yr, MartyO acquired numerous accolades for her sustainable and gorgeous perform. In the coming months she will exhibit at The Hague, Netherland, Brno Czech Republic, and Baden-Wurttlemberg, Germany. She not too long ago obtained term that she has been recognized into the California Fibers team. This is these a distinguished honor!

Now she is exhibiting in a group exhibition Kimono Reimagined, Visions Museum of Textile Arts in collaboration with San Diego Mesa University Manner Method at the Japanese Friendship Backyard Pavilion till Feb. 24. For a lot more information about this multi-talented artist go to

Future Gatherings

“Unstoppable Women”

Dwell Your Aspiration Awards Luncheon & Fashion Exhibit at Sheraton San Diego Resort & Marina on Saturday, March 18. For ticket, electronic mail Erin Liddell at: [email protected]


— Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned Couture Milliner primarily based in Alpine, California. Study far more about our Hat Designer, Teacher & Blogger at

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