a, b) cotton
a) L. at center back: 28 in. (71.1 cm).
b) L. at center back: 41 ½ in. (105.4 cm).
Isabel Shults Fund, 2003
Not on view
The late nineteenth century in fashion is governed by both the somewhat typical constructions of lace and silk eveningwear, and the fairly new and "modern" representations of women's sport and travel clothing. While most intriguing are the avant-garde developments of the Bloomer pants and the many adaptations of the women's riding habit, which incorporated menswear affectations into both its ornamentation and its construction, the women's walking costume is one of the most difficult ensembles to find currently in pristine condition. Partially because few women felt compelled to include such a pedestrian costume in their trousseaus, and partially due to the natural deteriorations caused by light, moisture and old age, the well-kempt walking costume of the 1880s and 1890s can be found in few modern costume collections. The construction of the ensemble's bustle is squarely in congruence with the trendy shape of the second bustle period, and the Curaisse-shaped infra-structure and tightly rounded sleeve are unequivocal documentations of this period in fashion.
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