|Artist / Origin||
Period: 1400 CE - 1800 CE
Blue silk taffeta brocaded with silver thread
Medium: Textiles and Fiber Arts
|Dimensions||Length at CB (a): 49 in. (124.5 cm) Length at CB (b): 37 in. (94 cm) Length (c): 11 in. (27.9 cm)|
|Location||The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY|
|Credit||Courtesy of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Irene Lewisohn Bequest|
|Andrew BoltonAssociate Curator, The Costume Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
When you come to formal and ceremonial clothing, it’s much more about spectacle and ceremony. So practicality is less a function of clothing than it is about showing off one’s wealth, showing off one’s position.
In the eighteenth century women had to, literally, had to bend from their hips in a way, the bottom of the waist didn’t actually get any movement. And it was reinforced by what you call a ‘busk,’ which, again, kept you more rigid.
And there was no practicality in that. That was really about trying to achieve an ideal form of beauty. The corset and the pannier are very much about trying to evoke an ideal form of beauty that was very much fashionable in the eighteenth century. Less about practicality and more about idealism.”