Bustle fashion (seventies up to beginning of nineties of 19th century)

Last period of lower constructions

From 1868 in Paris fashion salons a new fashion arose by tiny change: volume of back part of skirt started to magnify over the part of lady´s back. The persisting line of subtle trunk contrasted still constantly with skirt. Shift of the volume into the back part was not sudden it linked up on silhouette of second rococo when at the end of the sixties of 19th century polonaise like an arranged overskirt appeared. The bustle, lower reinforcement had to be worn under it for the sake of desired effect (fig. 1). We know more shapes and materials from which it has been manufactured. Steel springs from which it was possible to produce it has been already result of industrial revolution. Small pillows of horse hairs or of wire mesh have been produced by craftsmen, In the European towns it was possible to purchase them in warehouses or specialized shops. The interested persons could order them through mail-order service from varied firms which promoted themselves in fashion journals. Choice of suitable bustle under clothes or under complete or for a walk in mountains or for ball had depended from position of female owner and of her financial possibilities but also from type of dress under which it was possible to put it on (fig. 2, 3).

Silhouette of the bustle up to bizarrely accented the volume in upper part of skirt over the back. The notion bustle is connected etymologically with French word tournure with meaning of the looks, formability but also of posture and figure. In Bohemia this lower reinforcement had also denomination honzík. Pejorative name cul de Paris (Paris back) has been its contemporary colloquial designation.

Except for the bustle, which represented a hidden aid at forming silhouette, the volume was styled also by other tailor´s procedures. Manufacturing of skirt part from two kinds of skirt has been one of them: of underskirt or basic skirt (but not petticoat) and of upper skirt in that period designated also as tunic. That had very complicated form. Its sophisticalness laid in the fact that thanks to complicated tailor´s procedures (ruffles, folds, pleats, tucks) it created effect of voluminous balloon or buftan This could be manufactured also by other procedure such way that it has been manufactured and arranged of coat-tails. The thing that manufacturing these ruffles on the skirt or jacket has been demanding tailor´s work it is proved also by fact that so-called “trussiraires”existed i.e. specialized female tailors (fig. 4). More expensive clothes were decorated with laces, ribbons and particularly with appliqués of decorations combined with small pearls and black ornaments. They were still laboriously manually sewed.  

Hairstyles similarly as skirt acted casually being arranged; they were combed-out high upwards and completed with small hats – small caps. Also shoes on high heels aided to prolongation of figure. They were sewn of leather but also of silky fabrics; they were cross-laced usually in the front by help of small hooks or they were fastened by small buttons (fig. 5, 6).

More types of jackets close-fitting at the front, mostly reaching under waist or in the three-quarter length have been upper clothes in the rear often cut-through such way in order they can be worn on the bustle. They were sewed from woollen and silk fabrics, and the winter ones were lined-with. At modelling of jackets and longer coats for women it was begun to reach out inspiration from men´s coats. Also varied forms of pelerines have been constantly favourite (fig. 7).