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Garment Support and Structure

Anette Fischer and Kiran Gobin

Source: Construction for Fashion Design, 2nd Edition, 2017, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

Throughout history, dressmakers and tailors have been working hard to achieve a certain body shape in fashion. Since humans first began to cover their bodies, supportive and structured garments have been used and modified. At first, these garments would have been purely for shelter and protection. As time went on, however, clothing began to be associated with social and/or economic status and the interest in structured garments that would accentuate certain parts of the body grew.

Breastfeeding, Ideology and Clothing in Nineteenth-Century France

Gal Ventura

Source: Dress and Ideology. Fashioning Identity from Antiquity to the Present, 2017, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

The human species has always been dependent on breastfeeding, at least until the last third of the nineteenth century, when Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) invented the pasteurization of animal milk to be used to feed infants. Indeed, while examining artistic depictions of infant feeding through Western history, bottle-feeding was extremely rare in comparison to nursing women.See for example: Hubert Robert, Jeune femme tenant un biberon à un bébé, 1773, oil on canvas, 22 x 27 cm, Valence, Musée des Bea

The Skill of Couture Draping

Zoya Nudelman

Source: The Art of Couture Sewing, 2nd Edition, 2016, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

Grainline refers to the orientation of the yarns in a woven fabric. The lengthwise grains run along the length of the fabric and are called the warp yarns. The yarns that are woven in and out perpendicular to the warp yarns are called the weft yarns. These run side to side forming the cross grain of the fabric. The weft yarns are woven to form selvage on both sides of the fabric. The selvage is a finished edge that is formed by the weft yarns being woven, rotating side to side. (Figure 5.2)

The Secret of the Corset

Zoya Nudelman

Source: The Art of Couture Sewing, 2nd Edition, 2016, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

As previously noted, a corset understructure (also called a boned bodice) serves as a foundation for strapless dresses, gowns, and tops. The boned bodice must be made out of tough and firm fabric and interfaced when additional support is necessary. The best way to make a great pattern for a boned bodice is to drape it.

“Coiled Corset,” Shaun Leane for Alexander McQueen, Fall/Winter 1999

Kate Bethune

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Article

The “Coiled Corset” is an example of radical body adornment made by jeweler Shaun Leane for fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s collection “The Overlook” (fall/winter 1999). Leane, who originally trained as a jeweler and goldsmith, first worked with McQueen in 1995, when he made silver watch chains for his “Highland Rape” collection (fall/winter 1995). His creative collaborations with McQueen soon propelled him to work with new materials and on a much larger scale to create elaborate body sculpt

Ensemble from the “Portrait” Collection, Vivienne Westwood Ready-to-Wear, Fall/Winter 1990–1991

Waleria Dorogova

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Article

With her characteristic historicist approach, Vivienne Westwood designed numerous garments inspired by French works of art from London’s Wallace Collection. For an ensemble in the fall/winter 1990 “Portrait” collection, she borrowed motifs from two masterpieces—a seductive pastoral canvas by François Boucher (1703–1770), printed onto an eighteenth-century-style corset, and a design from a vanity mirror by André-Charles Boulle (1642–1732) printed on a pair of black velvet leggings. Works by both a

Fashion 1970s–2000s

Colleen Hill

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Article

In London, the Victoria and Albert Museum’s 1971 exhibition “Fashion: An Anthology by Cecil Beaton” attracted more than 90,000 visitors, making it one of the most well attended shows in the museum’s history. While Beaton acquired examples of historical dress from some of Britain’s most fashionable women, he placed particular emphasis on recent fashion—a largely unprecedented idea. Also important was the exhibition’s experimental installation, created in part by professional store window dressers

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Fall/Winter 1991

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Article

This collection is an example of what Bernadine Morris at the New York Times termed “the new age of haute couture,” where couture was about exploring directional, fashion-forward concepts instead of just creating opulent clothing. Presented at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Lagerfeld subverted stiff, prom-dressy tulle by molding it into gaucho pants, puffy parkas, and bubble dresses. Atypical fabrics like cellophane and plastic were used on classic tweed jackets. He also introduce

Thierry Mugler

Emily M. Orr

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Designer Biography

Corset, Thierry Mugler, ca.1996

Amanda M. B. Pajak

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Article

Fashion and perfume designer Thierry Mugler, born in Strasbourg, France on 21 December 1948, was trained at the Strasbourg School of Decorative Arts and came to critical prominence in the early 1970s as a freelance designer working for a variety of fashion houses in Paris, Milan, London, and Barcelona. In 1978 he opened his first Paris boutique at the Place des Victoires. During the 1990s, a trend celebrating the brazen display of lingerie as outerwear was popularized by multiple designers, inclu

Mugler

Laura Snelgrove

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Designer Biography

Dress Reform

Patricia A. Cunningham

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

Throughout the nineteenth century and in the early decades of the twentieth century, the basic silhouette of women’s dress in the United States went through many changes. Many people accepted this ever-changing succession of fashions as a natural phenomenon, an inevitable outward expression of progress; fashion was a sign of modernity. The changing styles of dress and its silhouette were largely dependent on various undergarments—corsets, petticoats, crinolines, bustles, and other supporting devi

Nineteenth-Century Medical Views on Dress

Margaret Deppe

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

Much attention has been given to the social context of clothing in the past as dress and fashion phenomena are critical indicators concerning the economic, political and ideological components of a given society. In England and North America in the nineteenth century, the tight lacing of ladies’ corsets was a function of clothing fashion as well as a fashion in morality and an indicator of social and economic status. Physicians joined dress reformers in repeatedly issuing warnings against tight l

Body and Dress

Angela Durante and Jenny Ellison

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

All human cultures engage in some form of dress and adornment. Although our bodies and the items we put on them might appear to be separate, they in fact have a great deal in common and are considerably intertwined. A dressed body represents a complex set of negotiations between an individual, the fashion system, and the social context in which they exist. Codes of dress set parameters but do not entirely determine how individuals dress. The body and dress are mutually constitutive—dress adds soc

Underwear

Grace Evans

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

The fashionable silhouette has gone through bewildering changes during the last two hundred years, and these would not have been possible without the shapes created beneath. Underwear and outerwear progressed in tandem. Underwear designers responded to prevailing styles of fashionable dress, and fashion designers built and relied upon the capabilities of structural underpinnings as they developed. These changes were, in turn, influenced by key social, economic, and technological developments, whi

Health

Jane Farrell-Beck

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

In most environments on Earth, clothing provides needed protection from the elements and other hazards. Yet over the past two centuries, dress has been vilified as the source of disease and death or lauded as a device for improving health and physical vigor. Writers have often directed their prescriptions and proscriptions toward women’s dress, but they also critiqued men’s and children’s apparel. An early health concern was problems and solutions connected to microbes and dermatological hazards,

Victorian Fashion

Rebecca N. Mitchell

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

This article offers a review of the major sartorial trends that occurred in Britain during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901), to suggest that evolving women’s and men’s fashions in the period reflect the social, political, and economic developments of the day. In addition to discussing the evolution of Victorian style, the article treats industrial and retail innovations (including the rise of mass-produced garments and the department store), progressive movements (including the Rational Dr

Tight-Lacing

Valerie Steele

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

Corset

Valerie Steele and Colleen Gau

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

Invisible Clothing

Philippe Perrot

Source: Classic and Modern Writings on Fashion, 2nd Edition, 2009, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

Many maladies are caused by … corsets. Thin bodies, narrow shoulders. Out of four two are bones of some promise; one, bones which promise nothing; a fourth go to Nice with the consumption; another fourth will at twenty-six drag out six days of the seven in an invalid's chair.

The Exquisite Slave: The Role of Clothes in the Making of the Victorian Woman

Helene E. Roberts

Source: Classic and Modern Writings on Fashion, 2nd Edition, 2009, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

I went and ordered a pair of stays, made very strong and filled with stiff bone, measuring only fourteen inches round the waist. These, with the assistance of my maid, I put on, and managed to lace my waist to eighteen inches. At night I slept in my corset without loosing the lace in the least. The next day my maid got my waist to seventeen inches, and so on, an inch every day, until she got them to meet. I wore them regularly without ever taking them off, having them tightened afresh every day,

Breasts and Waist

Susan J. Vincent

Source: The Anatomy of Fashion. Dressing the Body from the Renaissance to Today, 2009, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

Plotting the whereabouts of the waist on a map of the body is a surprisingly tricky undertaking. Like a fashion version of pin the tail on the donkey, the waist has ended up in unexpected places. Drifting up and down the torso as decade has followed decade, its location—particularly, but not exclusively, on women—has altered with a ready adaptability: as fashions change, the waist decamps and wanders off in search of a new, albeit temporary, residence. In Anthropometamorphosis, a seventeenth-cent

Introduction

Leigh Summers

Source: Bound to Please. A History of the Victorian Corset, 2001, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

The tide was out. [wrote Richardson] Dare we risk it? Lets. [said the aunts.] Tight high bodices of countless buttons went first, baring massy arms and fat creased necks of maturity. Thereafter bunchy skirts were slid over hips and stepped out of. Several petticoats followed, the undermost of red flannel, with scalloped edges. Tight stiff corsets were next squeezed from their moorings and cast aside: the linen beneath lay hot and damply crushed. Long white drawers were unbound and leg by leg dise

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