Crinoline Hoop Skirt

Brief Item Record

Title: Crinoline Hoop Skirt

Date: 1865 (circa)

Description: Hoop skirt of fabric tapes and wire; hoops of watch spring covered with webbing held together with metal tabs

Full Item Record

Dublin Core

Identifier

VC1992157

Title

Crinoline Hoop Skirt

Description

Hoop skirt of fabric tapes and wire; hoops of watch spring covered with webbing held together with metal tabs

Date

1865 (circa)

Subject

Clothing and dress

Extent

26 inches (waist), 34 inches (center front length), 89 inches (hem circumference),

Type

Physical Object

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage

Rights

http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/

Rights Holder

© Vassar College Costume Collection. Images in this collection may be used for teaching, classroom presentation, and research purposes only. For other reuse, reproduction and publication of these images, contact costumeshop@vassar.edu.

Costume Item Type Metadata

Cataloguer with Date

Arden Kirkland 12/5/1992

Waist

26

Center Front Length

34

Hem Circumference

89

All Measurements

26 inches (waist), 34 inches (center front length), 89 inches (hem circumference),

References

'cage crinoline with patent drawstring'Waugh, 114 (1866) also p. 120 and 121 (1865-66) Bradfield, 202 (1864-7) Collard, plate before p.24 (1865)

Date Earliest

1850

Date Latest

1860

Culture

Gender

Classification

costume
clothing

Category

Function

Exhibitions

Vassar Girls and Other Women

Public Information

Costume historian James Laver has created the theory of the shifting erogenous zone, through which any part of a woman's body can take on sexual significance, as long as the portion emphasized shifts continuously to keep men interested. For example, a woman's legs have taken on important sexual significance even though they are not biologically sexual. As a form of modesty, a woman's legs were mostly concealed until the twentieth century. Yet we must consider the possibility that the act of hiding something makes it even more attractive. The full length skirts of the nineteenth century, and particularly the crinoline skirts of the 1860's, such as this one (this was the style worn by the earliest Vassar students), are a good example of this. While supposedly hiding the full length of the wearer's legs, 'The swinging of the crinoline imparted a new, flirtatious aspect to women's dress, although it was the size that attracted most attention. . .' (Valerie Steele. Fashion and Eroticism: Ideals of Feminine Beauty from the Victorian Era to the Jazz Age. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985 p. 59). Keeping this image of the swinging crinoline in mind, it is important to consider that 'By the 60's [1860's] drawers were accepted by the middle classes as a necessary adjunct to the crinoline, but they were not generally used by the lower orders until the '80's,' (C. Willett Cunnington. English Women's Clothing in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Dover Publications, 1937. p. 21). Cunnington describes a story told by Lord Cowley, the English ambassador in Paris during the visit of King Victor Emmanuel in 1855, in his Memoirs. ' ... at a state reception a lady-in-waiting had the misfortune to trip over her crinoline skirt and tumble headlong in view of the Imperial party, whereupon the King exclaimed with enthusiasm to the Empress: 'I am delighted to see, Madame, that your ladies do not wear les caleçons, and that the gates of Paradise are always open. (C. Willett Cunnington. English Women's Clothing in the Nineteenth Century: New York: Dover Publications, 1937. p. 21).

Mannequin

1992.157

Storage Location

E1

Exhibition Notes

9 hoop skirt, c. 1865 1992.157 Costume historian James Laver has created the theory of the shifting erogenous zone, through which any part of a woman's body can take on sexual significance, as long as the portion emphasized shifts continuously to keep men interested. For example, a woman's legs have taken on important sexual significance even though they are not biologically sexual. As a form of modesty, a woman's legs were mostly concealed until the twentieth century. Yet we must consider the possibility that the act of hiding something makes it even more attractive. The full length skirts of the nineteenth century, and particularly the crinoline skirts of the 1860's, such as this one (this was the style worn by the earliest Vassar students), are a good example of this. While supposedly hiding the full length of the wearer's legs, 'The swinging of the crinoline imparted a new, flirtatious aspect to women's dress, although it was the size that attracted most attention. . .' (Valerie Steele. Fashion and Eroticism: Ideals of Feminine Beauty from the Victorian Era to the Jazz Age. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985 p. 59). Keeping this image of the swinging crinoline in mind, it is important to consider that 'By the 60's [1860's] drawers were accepted by the middle classes as a necessary adjunct to the crinoline, but they were not generally used by the lower orders until the '80's,' (C. Willett Cunnington. English Women's Clothing in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Dover Publications, 1937. p. 21). Cunnington describes a story told by Lord Cowley, the English ambassador in Paris during the visit of King Victor Emmanuel in 1855, in his Memoirs. ' ... at a state reception a lady-in-waiting had the misfortune to trip over her crinoline skirt and tumble headlong in view of the Imperial party, whereupon the King exclaimed with enthusiasm to the Empress: 'I am delighted to see, Madame, that your ladies do not wear les caleçons, and that the gates of Paradise are always open. (C. Willett Cunnington. English Women's Clothing in the Nineteenth Century: New York: Dover Publications, 1937. p. 21).

Work Type

Citation

“Crinoline Hoop Skirt,” Vassar College Costume Collection, accessed May 29, 2024, https://vccc.vassarspaces.net/items/show/829.