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Beauty comes at a cost and sometimes that price can be quite heavy. One such trend in fashion was the use of crinoline, which was a stiffened or structured petticoat designed to hold out a woman’s skirt. Essentially the trend was to wear a stiff cage that made a woman have the silhouette of a bell.


Via Mashable: Coloured stereocard depicting a woman being dressed in a crinoline, by an unknown photographer. Image: The Howarth-Loomes Collection at National Museums Scotland

“A strange name and an even stranger object, the crinoline appeared on the fashion scene in the mid 1800s, and, perhaps strangest of all, is on occasion still worn today. These stereocards, including some drawn from a series called Mysteries of the Crinoline, lampoon this most elaborate of Victorian fashions.

The name is a combination word of “crin” — a stiff material made using horse hair — and “linen.” But it wasn’t the stiff fabric that gave the crinoline its remarkable silhouette; it was the under-hoops, made of bone or even steel, which formed a cage. A patent for a metal crinoline cage was first awarded in 1856.

Such was its popularity — described by satirical magazine Punch as “Crinolinemania” — that some steel factories catered exclusively to the crinoline market, churning out around 3,000 every day. Crinoline-only shops offered them for sale to an eager public. Yet it was, as is obvious, a very difficult object to wear.

It was also a deadly fire hazard. From the late 1850s to the late 1860s, around 3,000 women died in crinoline fires in England.

The fashion lasted until the mid 1860s, eventually being replaced by the bustle. It has been periodically revived, most notably after World War II as part of Christian Dior’s New Look.  Today, the crinoline is still worn on very formal occasions — and in particular under many a wedding dress.

Many of these images are on display in National Museum of Scotland’s Photography: A Victorian Sensation Exhibition (June 19 to Nov. 22, 2015), in Edinburgh, Scotland.”

The usage of crinoline, amongst other deadly Victorian fashion trends, just reminds us of how dangerous and downright silly fashion can be. It encourages us to step back from trends, such as fast fashion, and consider the dangerous impact and risks we take on.

Check out Mashable’s entire article here: http://mashable.com/2015/06/21/crinolinemania-victorian-fashion/