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The Art of Skirts

Zoya Nudelman

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

Book chapter

In the past, during the large petticoat and long train years, a skirt was draped on a woman ordering a dress. The skirt was made to fit over her hips, and the maker checked the customer’s walking ability while wearing the toile sample. This helped save time and added perfection to the pattern as well as customer satisfaction and comfort.

Betsey Johnson, Spring/Summer 1986

Veronica Maldonado

Source: Fashion Photography Archive, 2015, Fashion Photography Archive

Article

Presented at the Palladium nightclub in New York City, Betsey Johnson’s spring/summer 1986 collection depended on many of her signature tropes—her usual use of romantic stylings such as petticoats, crinolines, bustiers, and lace combine with kitschy accessories like kitchen utensils, baggie boxes as hats, baby bottle earrings, and feather dusters, creating a look that teases ideas of the feminine—the romantic femininity of the materials and silhouettes mixes with the traditionally female role of

The Northern Renaissance

Phyllis G. Tortora and Sara B. Marcketti

Source: Survey of Historic Costume, 6th Edition, 2015, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter + STUDIO

By the beginning of the 16th century, northern Europe had experienced a gradual transition to participation in the new spirit of the Renaissance. Along with changes in arts and letters came profound changes in religious attitudes, which led some Christians to separate from the Roman Catholic Church. The Protestant Reformation, which began in the German states of the Holy Roman Empire, split Europe into two hostile religious camps.

The Seventeenth Century 1600–1700

Phyllis G. Tortora and Sara B. Marcketti

Source: Survey of Historic Costume, 6th Edition, 2015, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter + STUDIO

Dress is often used to communicate social status in both obvious and subtle ways. In a society in which social classes are well defined, customs relating to dress are frequently a visible symbol of one’s rank.

The Eighteenth Century 1700–1790

Phyllis G. Tortora and Sara B. Marcketti

Source: Survey of Historic Costume, 6th Edition, 2015, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter + STUDIO

Upon the death of Louis XIV in 1715, his great-grandson, Louis XV, became king of France at the age of 5. During the time that the king was too young to reign alone, a period called the Regency (1715–1723), baroque art styles that had dominated in the previous century underwent a gradual change. The new style lines were less massive, the curves were more slender and delicate, and an emphasis on asymmetrical balance gained importance. This new, rococo, style reached its height during the reign of

Petticoat

Caroline Cox

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

Encyclopedia entry

By the nineteenth century, petticoats had several functions. They were used as underlinen to provide warmth and protect outer clothing from an unclean body, to give a structure to the skirt depending on the fashionable silhouette of the time, and to disguise the shape of the legs to give a modest appearance to a woman. It formed part of an extensive range of underwear as worn by the Victorian woman, which was comprised of a chemise, drawers, corset, and several petticoats. Petticoats were general

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

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.

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