Our perception of the Victorian era is of them being strait-laced and staid. The reality is sometimes very different.
In an era when photography was developing, ‘naked ladies’ (and gentlemen, sometimes both in the same photo) were going to continue to be an Art standard much as they’ve always been since man started drawing on cave walls.
By the Victorian era, the entire concept of holidays and leisure, sometimes allied to scientific discovery, and key themes of the time, such as Darwinism -fossil collecting was very much ‘a thing’ in Victorian England- was growing, and the well to do would travel to seaside towns like Brighton and Bognor to discover this new fangled holiday concept for themselves.
Of course, Victorian men wouldn’t be able to contain themselves, sexually, by the sight of some flesh, so bathing boxes were devised. A lady would change within it while it was pulled into the sea by horse, then merge into the waters without being exposed too much, despite the voluminous costume she was expected to wear.
There are actually reports of ladies drowning, dragged down by the weight of these heavy costumes.
Victorian swimming boxes, and Brighton Gentlemen’s swimming club.
Hold him back! He can barely contain himself!
It’s possible to buy a Victorian swimming costume on the Marketplace (L$99)
So we then got model Abbey to show it off…
…because I’d seen a photo from Victorian real life that just begged to be replicated in SL.
I think this is a gorgeous photo, debunking some of our preconceptions of ‘Victorians and swimming’.
A little post production…
..and Abbey has been photographed by a quiet stream, in sepia, her bathing cap also still in place.
This set photographer Harry off on a theme.
They were trying to recreate this photo, to some extent.
Harry and Abbey are currently working on a ‘vintage Victorian’ portfolio that will be published in the coming days.