Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, Massachusetts
Link to Elizabeth Ellms' Senior Art Thesis  


Elizabeth Ellms 

British Fashion during the 19th and 20th Centuries

Ken Follett’s Character Identity Development Portrayed by Outside Factors and Free Will

During the 19th and 20th century, British fashion designers created their styles based on social class, culture, and gender roles British fashion not only influenced people from Britain, but it also had an impact on people from other countries beyond Britain. Changes in fashion grew out of changes in social class, culture, and gender roles.Not only did social class, culture, and gender roles influence designers’ styles, but the ways in which technology advanced andclothing construction changed also influenced fashion designers like Mary Quant and Arthur Lazenby Liberty. Technical advancements like new machinery made it easier for fashion designers to construct their clothes. And new ways of printing made it easier for fashion designers to experiment with brighter colors and more intricate patterns. In the 1980s, Mary Quant’s clothing shocked consumers with its bold unique style. New technology allowedher to create intricate prints in a quick and easy way. Arthur Lazenby Liberty’s detailed floral designs were made possible by the new technology of fabric printing.

In some cases, a person’s clothing style can constantly evolve as an outward manifestation of changes in their personality. In Ken Follett’s thriller novels, The Third Twin and A Dangerous Fortune,external factors such as social status, as well as characters’ own free will, both impact the development of the individual’s identity. For example, Augusta Pilaster of A Dangerous Fortune ends up losing herself, her family, and her friends because of her personality and the way she treats the people around her. Augusta ultimately has the power to change her ways, but she is so narrow minded and focused on attaining power and control that she loses track of what it is really important in her life, like family. Augusta achieves her goals but dies wanting more and without the support of her family and friends. In Ken Follett’s writing, the characters’ development of identity, while based on factors such as environment, biological qualities, and parent child influence, is ultimately in their own hands.

Major Works Consulted:

Follett, Ken. The Third Twin. New York: Random, 1996.
---. A Dangerous Fortune. New York: Random, 1993.
Nunn, Joan. Fashion in Costume 1200-1980. London: Schocken Books, 1984.
"Victoria and Albert Museum.”Digital Media Web. 07 Apr. 2016.
Photo Credit: " Mining the Memories of Ken Follett's Readers The Bookseller." Mining the Memories of Ken Follett's Readers The Bookseller. Web. 23 Feb. 2016. wherewereyouthencom-mining memories-ken-folletts-readers.


 Link to Elizabeth Ellms' Senior Art Thesis