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November 18, 2009

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Ingrid Mida

I did a research paper at Ryerson University on the cage crinoline this summer and learned that the crinoline was the first garment worn by all classes of women. The relatively inexpensive price made it accessible to all and in spite of the inherent dangers of wearing a large skirt that could potentially be caught in a machine or catch on fire from an open flame, it was incredibly popular even among working class women.
I also find the shape of the crinoline inherently beautiful as a sculptural object and this inspired my recent art work.

Rachel

My research resulted in the same findings that you mention in your comment, Ingrid. According to the Jane Ashelford book I listed as one of the sources, even after crinolines went out of fashion (about 1868) servants were often expected to wear crinolines as part of their uniform. Sounds like it would make household tasks very difficult to complete!

Ruth Dunlap

"The Art of Dress" referenced by "Rachel" is by JANE Ashelford (not Joan Ashelford).
rdunlap@tsf.net

Rachel

Thank you for the correction, Ruth. You'll notice I've changed the citation in the entry.

Dixie Lee

Note also in the side view, that quite a substantial baby bump could be hidden underneath one, a boon to those who would otherwise have had to retire from society much earlier to avoid the embarrassment of being seen to be pregnant!

Rachel

Great point! I hadn't thought of this, but you're absolutely correct that the bell shape of the crinoline would easily hide a baby bump. It makes an interesting comparison to today's maternity fashions, wherein baring the bump is the primary goal.

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