Fashion caricatures have entertained (or annoyed) throughout the ages. We can even imagine that some cave paintings were making the fashion commentary of the day.
Fashion caricatures show the moods of the modes quite well. Not all were enamored of the variations fashion creatures demanded.
All images and words to follow are from WikiMedia.org.
“Following the Fashion” a December 1794 caricature by James Gillray, which satirizes incipient neo-Classical trends in women’s clothing styles, particularly the trend towards what were known at the time as “short-bodied gowns” (i.e. short-bodiced or high-waisted dresses). This caricature satirizes the figure-type which is most flattered by high-waisted dresses, contrasting it with a body-type which was not flattered by the style — as well as playing on the perennial struggle between attempts of the “Cits” (families of rich merchants in the City of London area) to imitate the stylish aristocrats of west London, versus the determination of the aristocrats to socially repulse the Cits, and consider them to be still unstylish.”
“Ah ! s’il y voyoit !…” (“Ah! What if he could see!”). Library of Congress description: “Print shows two fashionably dressed women walking on a country road and a “blind” beggar with a small dog on a leash and holding a cup and stick in right hand. The man has stepped on the skirt of one of the women causing it to tear, exposing her bare buttocks for the “blind” man to see. A satire on contemporary clothing fashions.” Aquatint and etching.
“Les Modernes Incroyables”, a satire on male fashions from Caricatures Parisiennes, 1810. (The original “Incroyables” were males who took up cutting-edge or extreme fashions in the 1790s; their female counterparts were the “Merveilleuses“.)
Surf over to the WikiMedia list of fashion caricatures and learn more. There are currently more than 100 caricatures to enjoy!