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Dress

Date:
1804–14
Culture:
French
Medium:
cotton
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1907
Accession Number:
07.146.5
Not on view
The Empire waist that emphasized the bosom was a deliberate rather than an ancillary effect of the corset's displacement of flesh. This can be seen in the introduction to the corset's construction of gussets, triangles inserted at the chest to support the breasts separately. From the 1790s to the 1810s, fashions held little refuge for women of ample proportions. Still, for all the apparent revelation of the natural body suggested by that period's sheer Neoclassical styles, evolving technical strategies were necessary to create the newly fashionable high-bosomed silhouette.
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