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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Perceptual Illusion and Fashion



Let us look at the Muller-Lyer illusion. Though the line segments in Figure A and Figure B are of the same length, our visual system fools us in believing that the line segment in Figure A (top figure) is smaller than the line segment in Figure B.











Applying this logic to your choice of dresses below:

The dress depicted in Figure 1 has the potential to create a wider waistline than the dress in Figure 2 (in reality the red lines in both Figure 1 and Figure 2 are of equal length). Notice that Figure 1 is like the wider-looking line segment (Figure B) of the Muller-Lyer illusion.



The dress depicted in Figure 3 has the potential to create a slimmer waistline than the dress in Figure 4 (in reality the red lines in both Figure 3 and 4 are of equal length). Notice that Figure 3 is like the smaller-looking line segment (Figure A) of the Muller-Lyer illusion.

Therefore the peplum waist (shown in Figure 1), an iconic look that is in fact back in style, has the potential to create a less flattering silhouette. 

Cant virtually everything be explained through human perception and cognition?

This blog is co-written with Lu Wang.

Photo credit: Gwestheimer via Wikimedia Commons.

3 comments:

  1. Interesting stuff!

    And I do visit at times :).

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  2. I find this very interesting and obviously I knew about the "Muller-Lyer illusion", but never placed it into these practical terms. Tonight I am exposing my wife to a bit of science!

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  3. I honestly think this doesn't work. Female fashion is based on female shape. The more naturally this shape is framed and enhanced the better the look. It's about proportions. Although the line in figure 1 might look slightly longer than the line in figure 2, I still feel like figure 1 is the better look.

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