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The Corset : A Cultural History
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Description

The Corset : A Cultural History [Paperback]


Book Description

An essential element of fashionable dress from the Renaissance into the twentieth century, the corset has been viewed not only as an object of eroticism but also as an instrument of torture and subjugation. This lavishly illustrated book explores the cultural history of the corset. Named one of the Best of the Year 2001 by the Toronto Globe & Mail. Selected for inclusion in the Books to Remember list by the New York Public Library. Winner of the 2002 Milia Davenport Publication Award sponsored by the Costume Society of America.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

What is it about corsets that so fascinates costume historians and fetishists alike? For more than 500 years, women and occasionally men rigidly laced themselves up in whalebone or steel in order to be molded into some sort of physical ideal. Consider the work of contemporary designers such as Gaultier and Lacroix, and it becomes apparent that this strange obsession continues to this day. While there is no shortage of information on this fashion curiosity, Steele here emphasizes the aesthetic, social, and historical aspects. As chief curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and the author of nearly 12 books on costume history, she is well qualified to tackle the subject and to attempt to answer "why." The text is scholarly, yet lively and readable, and the numerous images drawn from a variety of sources such as trade cards, paintings, advertisements, book illustrations, and contemporary photos help illustrate her point. This book would be a good purchase even for libraries that already have material on this subject. Margarete Gross, Chicago P.L.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.




Customer Reviews

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This is a very pretty book with great photo's and information. Reak Kovacs  |  4 reviewers made a similar statement
This coffee table style books is fabulous! aundrea211  |  2 reviewers made a similar statement
A great history of the corset, for both men and women. Nancy T. Hernandez  |  2 reviewers made a similar statement