Shaping the Romantic Era

Set between the glories of Napoleon Bonaparte's rule and Queen Victoria's namesake era was the age of Romanticism, a time of heightened emotional expression, intense nationalism, and widespread interest in the medieval period. Delicate bonnets and... Read Article ››

Jaeger wool corset, 1890s

  Corset 1890s Gustav Jaeger, Designer Wool & metal Museum Purchase 2009.5.1 German physician Gustav Jaeger (1832-1917) advocated wearing wool undergarments next to the skin for health purposes in his book Sanitary Woolen System, first published in... Read Article ››

Underpinnings, c. 1900-1903

Underpinnings c. 1900-1903 Edwardian era (1901-1910) underclothing was the height of seductiveness, erotic and extravagant. The laborious application of embroidery, lace insertions, and ribbon work onto foundations of silk faille and cotton lawn was excessive... Read Article ››

Miniature corset, 1890s

Miniature corset France, 1890s Museum Purchase 2010.5.9 The corset was literally and figuratively the most defining female fashion of the Victorian era. The body underneath and the clothing above relied on the anatomy-shaping device to compress excess flesh... Read Article ››

1880s bustle

Bustle c. 1883-87 Museum Purchase 2005.5.174 Technical innovations continually influenced female appearance during the nineteenth century. Not only were textile production and sewing capabilities improved, but cutting-edge processes shaped the body with... Read Article ››

Fashion Birthday: Vivienne Westwood

Happy birthday to Vivienne Westwood, born on this day in 1941! We wish her the best and look forward to many more of her inventive designs. Though Westwood's early career, which began in the early 1970s, was closely associated with punk, by the 1980s she... Read Article ››

Blue corset, c. 1868-1874

Corset c. 1868-1874 FIDM Museum Purchase 2011.5.28 In the late 1860s, the fashionable bodice fit smoothly over a curvaceous corset that emphasized the bust. Skirts flared from a high, compressed waist, so corsets were shaped to place somewhat less... Read Article ››

The Height of Fashion

  Today's post is courtesy of our registrar, Meghan Grossman Hansen. In this post, Meghan examines the interaction between the fashionable silhouette and the human body in the second half of the nineteenth century. You'll also get a sneak peak... Read Article ››

Corselet, 1790-98

  Corselet 1790-98 Gift of the Helen Larson Estate S2001.31.17 This late eighteenth century corselet is a bit of a puzzle. Structurally, it's akin to a corset, complete with boning throughout. Despite its similarity to a corset, the surface... Read Article ››