Friday, 20 March 2015

Crinolines, Crinolettes, Bustles and Corsets from 1860-80

The crinoline craze began to slow down from 1866. Crinolines were fashionable between 1867 and the mid 1870s. They were often made of half hoops with extra loops of steel at the top to give them more support. Some crinolines were laced inside like a corset. The lacing was combined with tying the internal tapes which enabled the shape of the structure to be adjusted. The flat, front and tapes were fastened around the body to give easier movement. Problems encountered when sitting could be dealt with by pushing the bustle to one side or sitting forward in a seat. Punch cartoons always made fun of women by comparing them to beetles and snails. As the skirts became narrower and flatter in the front, more emphasis was put on the waist and hips. A corset was needed to help mould the body to the desired shape ( V & A, 2015:6).

Corset (back view), blue silk stiffened with whalebone, possibly English or French, 1864. Museum no. T.169-1961

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