From A to Z of style: Crinoline

The historian C. Willett Cunnington used to say “ It symbolized in concrete form that woman was beginning to occupy larger spaces in social world” and actually crinoline was meant to give an astonishing sense of freedom to bold spirit who wore it.

Originally it was made by coarse hair – usually from a horse – which was woven to make heavy petticoats to wear beneath long skirts.

In 1856 was manufactured a lightweight flexible structure that resembled a steel cage. Crinoline was revived in late 30’s and then for spring/summer season 1985 with Vivienne Westwood “mini-crini”.

Nowadays crinoline is still worn, usually as part of  formal outfits, such as an evening gown or a wedding dress. The volume of the skirt is not as great as during the Victorian era and flounces enhance the garment.

Lo storico C. Willett Cunnington diceva che “simboleggia in concreto lo spazio magggiore che la donna sta cominciando ad occupare nel mondo” e in effetti la crinoline è stata pensata per dare alle donne un forte senso di libertà agli spiriti vivaci che la indossavano.

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