Iron corset

Published/Created:
ca. 1500-1600
Date Depicted:
1975
1500 AD - 1699 AD
Notes:
In the late fifteenth century fitted underbodies are made of heavy material. Hinged iron corsets replace the underbodies early in the sixteenth century. By mid-century some corsets are boned in patterns which follow the lines of the dress seam. To support the skirt between the waist and bolster, corsets are finished with a roll or piccadil.
Abstract:
In the history of Western civilization, Elizabethan dress is the most artificial and ostentatious. The bodice is a separate, cut to fit tight and flat across the chest. It has a low, square neckline and a waistline which extends in front to a very low V. A corset is under the bodice. It is stiffened with whalebone, strips of steel or hardwood, or made entirely of pierced steel. A stomacher (plastron) is over the bodice. Shaped like a shield or triangle, it has a very long, boned point which extends below the waist. A chemise is under the bodice. The fashionable sleeve is tied with ribbons into a series of puffs down the arm. Another important sleeve, the leg-o'-mutton is stiff and voluminous. At the top it is boned and quilted into a rounded shape. It tapers to the wrist and is finished with a cuff or small ruff. Early in Elizabeth's reign the gown is shaped and supported by a Spanish hoop, the verdingale or farthingale. It is made by inserting steel or whalebone into casings in a funnel-shaped petticoat. Gradually the French wheel or cartwheel becomes stylish. Shaped like a wheel, it attaches at the hip and looks like a shelf with sharp edges. At its widest it is 1 1/2 yards from side to side and 20 to 24 inches from back to front. A pleated ruffle of the dress fabric often extends to the hoop edge. Eventually the bolster, a very large padded roll, replaces the French hoop in England. There is another under-structure made of two wide and arching wires on each hip. The skirt for the French hoop is quite wide and full, and gathered or pleated into a waistband. It is made both with and without an opening at the center front. Since the width of the hoop makes movement difficult, the skirt is shortened to the instep.
Topics:
Costume -- Europe -- History -- (LC)
Metalwork -- France -- 16th century -- (YVRC)
Period/Style:
Elizabethan
Culture:
French
Accession Number:
4390-107
Genre:
costume (mode of fashion): underwear: corsets (AAT)
Format:
Image
Content Type:
Clothing & Accessories
Rights:
The use of this image may be subject to the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) or to site license or other rights management terms and conditions. The person using the image is liable for any infringement.
Access Restrictions:
Yale Community Only
Source Creator:
Button, Jeanne and Sbarge, Stephen
Source Title:
History of Costume, In Slides, Notes and Commentaries: Volume 3
Source Created:
New York, NY
Theatre Arts Slide Presentations
1975
Call Number:
GT513 +B87 3 (LC)
Orbis Barcode:
39002051938471
Yale Collection:
Visual Resources Collection
Digital Collection:
Visual Resources Collection
Original Repository:
Paris, France: Musee National du Moyen Age (Musee Cluny)
OID:
10600453
PID:
digcoll:1862205