The Corset: A Cultural HistoryGet this book
For 400 years, women wore corsets that controlled their shape and constricted, and sometimes crushed, their ribs and organs. In the 18th century, "tight-lacing" was a common phenomenon, but in the 19th century, technology allowed for more effective corsetry. Shortly after the turn of the 20th century, the corset became less popular and gradually faded almost completely from use, though recently, it's come back into fashion as sexy outerwear. In The Corset: A Cultural History, Valerie Steele, chief curator and acting director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology and editor of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, takes on an item of clothing that has achieved notoriety among many historians. But Steele challenges the popular view that corset-wearing women were merely the victims of fashion, and delves into the "complex gender politics surrounding the corset controversies of the past." The hundreds of color and b&w photos and illustrations provide entertaining visual evidence for Steele's scholarship.
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