Laceing [sic] a Dandy
Anonymous, British, 19th century British
Publisher Thomas Tegg British
Not on view
Dandies needed help to achieve the silhouette that contemporary fashion demanded around 1820. A wasp waist was created by means of tightly laced stays, while padding produced broad shoulders and thighs. This dandy instructs two servants to pull as hard as they can on his corset strings. The dress and accent of the man at right, as well as the comb stuck in his hair, identify him as a French hairdresser, who jeeringly refers to his master’s "John Bull Belly." British humor at this period stereotyped Frenchmen as thin and underfed while contrasting them with over-nourished Britons. This particular embodiment of British manhood is presented as an exemplar of modern ridiculousness.