« Fashion history through photographs, part II | Main | Sonia Rykiel »

December 11, 2009


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Di Bingham

I can just imagine this in the heat of an Australian summer! But can appreciate the work that has gone into it.

Becky D

I would wear this right now...and I'm in San Diego. Not sure I would leave the house in it, but I'm in for the night anyway!

It's so depressing how little work goes into fashion today. Everything is so disposable and rarely lasts more than one or two seasons. And truly, there is no dress in this modern age that is meant to be worn more than once.

Can you imagine a Hollywood starlet wearing something repeatedly and being proud of its craftsmanship as well as its usefulness?

Seeing this intensely worked piece makes me wish the world had a stronger commitment to quality and the hard work it takes to produce it!


Beautiful. We modern women don't get to enjoy such finely worked pieces as part of our undergarments. But they must have been awfully heavy! Wonder if those women had sore hips from carrying around the weight of up to 6 quilts on themselves all day?

FIDM Museum

Di, this quilted petticoat would be a terrible thing to wear in the summer...makes me sweat to think about it! Something of this weight would have been worn during the colder months.

CeCelia, I should clarify that petticoats of this weight probably would have been worn one at a time, or possibly with one or two lightweight petticoats. You're right in thinking that 6 layers of quilted petticoat would be too much.

Becky, I agree with you! The throwaway nature of mass-market fashion and the entire fashion system is a bit discouraging. Wonder if the current economy will change this...


It is fun to see how the desire of a woman to wear something pretty for herself under her clothes was interpreted in earlier periods.

FIDM Museum

Rosemary, I agree! There is no practical or functional reason for the colorful fabric or intricate quilting. It was surely inspired by the desire for a bit of secret luxury, which would be known only to the wearer. And probably the friends that helped her quilt the petticoat!

Julie Baird

The amount of work and skill and patience to stitch one of these petticoats is staggering. No wonder they would 'hitch' up their skirt to let it show.

Perhaps this explains, in part, the willingness of my almost-teenage daughter, to let her pretty bra straps and all those camies show!

Maybe we haven't changed all that much.

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