Obviously, the form of costume is depending on the form of human body. This fact separates the art of costume from design and architecture.
Thus, fashion always has been longing for human body’s stylizing in costume. The form of costume has always been submitting to the human body’s form. Nevertheless, this is also true, that the costume forms are able to create the “perfect” human body in accordance with the fashionable and cultural standard.
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The fashion dress history can be divided into several periods in dependence on covering or discovering of the form of human body. However, the tendencies of covering or discovering, the form of European costume has intended to be body-like. Since XVI century, the creation of body-like form in costume was the main purpose of the European fashion.
Obviously, that the phenomenon of the body-like costume is connected with the intention of the people to change their physical appearances in order to be closed to the esthetical and cultural “ideal”. The natural physical appearance did not satisfy people and they tried to transform it through the costume. We can say that the body-like costume is the people’s idea about their place and role in a society.
Thus, the intention of people to be closed to the “ideal” is the main reason of the body-like costume’s invention. In this case, costume as the fine art realized it’s function of idealization.
Idealization in costume and in fine arts is an important part of the phenomenon of mimesis. The conception of mimesis was formulated in antique Greece. Accordance to Aristotle mimesis was the essence of fine art. Later, the phenomenon of mimesis was considered widely from the simple imitation to an abstract idea.
European costume, as the department of fine arts, has embodied mimesis in body-like forms of fashionable costume. The theory of body-like costume also considers mimesis from imitation to abstract ideas of human body. Thus in respect of the phenomenon of mimesis, the body-like European costume itself was the embodying of the idea of “perfect” human body in accordance with cultural and esthetical ideal of the human body.
As for real human body, under some religious and cultural circumstances, it has always required for idealizing in the fashionable costume. Due to body-like costume, people could improve their real body to reach the esthetical ideal of beauty. Body-like costume could hide the real sinful flesh and idealize it through costume.