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Corsets and Crinolines

The first of Miss Waugh's important books on historic costume, Corsets and Crinolines , set a new standard of accuracy and interest. Showing that the silhouette of women's dress has been in a state of continuous change, allied to economic and architectural evolution as well as changing ideas of sexual attractiveness, she itemises three cycles in the last 400 years in which women's silhouette was blown up to the utmost limit, by artificial means, and then collapsed again to a long straight line. At these points the extremes were invariably considered absurdities and the corsets and hoops were discarded by their users, so that in actuality very few specimens from the earlier periods at least have come down to us. This book is a study of these shapes and how they were produced, how simple laced bodices became corsets of cane, whale-bone and steel, while padding at shoulders and hips gave way to the structures of farthingales, hoops and bustles. Since paintings, prints and photographs of these props are not sufficient to convey their three-dimensional form, Miss Waugh has provided structural drawings and patterns, always made from existing specimens. Each period is enlivened by quotations from contemporary sources - from letters, diaries, satiric poems, tailors' and dressmakers' bills, as well as journalists' accounts, often very amusing in themselves. These describe the garments and their under-structures, and show how they were viewed by the people who saw them. Added are an index, a glossary of terms and materials, appendices on the repair and manufacture of corsets and crinolines, on whalebone and the whale fishery that supported it.
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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgment List of Illustrations Bibliography Museum and Private Collections Chapter 1. I Beginning of the Sixteenth Century to 1670 i. The Whaleboned Body. ii. The Farthingale iii. References to Whaleboned Bodies and Farthingales from contemporary sources. II 1670 to the end of the Eighteenth century i. The Stays ii. The Hoop Petticoat iii. References to Stays and Hoop Petticoats from Contemporary Sources. III Beginning of the Nineteenth Century to 1925 i. The Corset ii. The Crinoline and the Bustle iii. The Corset, Crinoline and Bustle - from Contemporary Magazines iv. References to Corsets, Crinolines, and Bustles from Contemporary Sources. Appendix I The Construction of Corsets II The Construction of Farthingales, Hoop Petticoats , Etc III Supports for Corsets, Crinolines, Etc. IV Whalebone Glossary Index

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