I just came across these rather nice illustrations of bustles from a pretty cool vintage book I snatched from under an old ladies nose in a thrift store a couple years ago. . .
Gloriously entitled ‘Taste & Fashion’ by the indomitable James Laver it is a splendidly out of date read, & gives a massive insight into how it used to be ‘done’! With chapters such as ‘The Theory of Decolletage’ & ‘The Two Bustles & the Aesthetic Movement’ how could I not squeal in delight & proceed with ill disguised glee to the till?
I am sure that now I have made my re-acquaintance with this priceless find I shall be quoting all over the place however; here is one to keep you going. From the ‘Lingerie’ chapter comes a glimpse of thigh. . .
“It is curious to note that the suspender, once invented, took a definite place not only in the history of fashion, but in the history of eroticism, largely owing to the cancan dancers in Paris in the middle nineties. . . In the course of her dance she lifted her skirts and displayed bare thighs traversed by suspenders, which kept the stockings in place. This thigh-eroticism was very prevalent in the nineties, and then suffered a long eclipse until the success of Marlene Dietrich in the Blue Angel brought it back once more into vogue.”
Steamy stuff, eh? A corker of a find, & actually very useful too, I recommend it if you need to know anything at all about the history of fashion or costume as it is very readable, with lovely illustrations throughout.