At some point it might seem that ruffles and crinolines have turned into something like a guilty pleasure, a place for which only at theme parties. But, fortunately, splendor is returning to the catwalks again - outfits in the best traditions of Marie Antoinette could be seen at the shows of Marc Jacobs, Molly Goddard, Viktor & Rolf, JW Anderson. We will tell you how crinolines appeared and what to wear with them.
Text: Anna Aristova
How it all started
Of course, when we think of fluffy dresses, we immediately imagine princesses, because haute couture takes its origins in a historical costume. So, one of the first couturiers was the milliner of Marie Antoinette Rosa Bertin, who is remembered by historians as the "Minister of Fashion". Bertin met with the Queen of France twice a week: they were close friends and could spend hours discussing extravagant dresses. Bertin's outfits were very popular - in addition to Marie Antoinette, other members of the highest court nobility and influential clients around the world, including the Russian Empress Maria Fedorovna, fell in love with her cake dresses. The frames of Bertin's outfits could reach a width of three meters - and not only to emphasize the waist tightened with a corset, but also so that a woman "took up three times more space than a man."
The amount of fabric used to create fancy outfits reflected the wealth of their wearers, as well as the mood of the era. So, during the Great French Revolution, women turned to simple outfits without corsets and panniers, reminiscent of the dresses of the goddesses of antiquity. A new boom of lush dresses happened only by the 1850s - it was in the era of the Second Empire, according to history, that the famous crinolines appeared, replacing the pannier and giving the dresses no less volume and majesty to its owner. At the same time, another notable figure appeared in the history of fashion - the French designer of English origin Charles Frederick Worth, known as the "father of couture". Worth was responsible for popularizing voluminous outfits - he dressed Empress of France Eugenie and other famous clients in crinolines, and also became the first designer to stage a fashion show with live models. The crinoline gave rise to many caricatures - for example, jokes about the fact that the woman in them resembles a bell, and Prosper Mérimée, in his letters to Countess Maria Montijo, sneered that "there is nothing more amusing than a crinoline in a gondola." “She moves, slides, dances, twirls, dragging behind her a load of embroidered skirts that serve her as both a pedestal and a counterweight,” wrote Charles Baudelaire in a series of essays “The Poet of Modern Life”. In addition, voluminous crinolines could be deadly - for example, women often could not keep track of the hem of a dress accidentally falling into the fireplace - because of this, about three thousand deaths due to "crinoline fires" were documented in England. Over time, Worth came up with a lighter version of the crinoline - the bustle - and then abandoned the volumetric structures altogether.
How fluffy dresses are back in fashion
It's hard to say that fluffy dresses went out of fashion - nobody canceled the couture weeks. However, because of the fashion for the "intellectual" style, voluminous outfits receded into the background and only now began to gain popularity again. So, one of the most memorable shows of recent seasons was the debut of the Japanese Tomo Koizumi at New York Fashion Week. The cheerful outfits made from millions of layers of organza - which the designer ironically refers to as "ruffle armor" - drew attention to the founder of Love magazine Katie Grand on Instagram and offered to help him with the show.
Another memorable moment in the history of lush dresses was the spring-summer couture show Viktor & Rolf, where the brand presented room-sized outfits scattered on social networks and decorated with slogans like “I am my own muse”, “Leave me alone”, “Sorry, I was late because I didn’t want to come”and“NO”.
An alternative version of puffy dresses was invented by the Moncler brand as part of a collaboration with the creative director of the Italian brand Pierpaolo Piccioli, presenting puffer dresses at the intersection of fashion and art.
So how can you forget Molly Goddard's gorgeous pink dress from Killing Eve starring Jody Comer? In the wake of the show's popularity, Goddard presented an even more dramatic version at a recent fall / winter runway show.
What to wear it with
At first glance, it is not easy to approach lush dresses, but it is possible. So, in a casual outfit, they will look great with the opposite accessories - for example, the same Jodie Comer in "Killing Eve" wore them with massive boots. For the evening, tulle can be worn with high boots or colorful tights and heels to match. And if you still feel uncomfortable in the image of the modern Marie Antoinette, you can choose one thing - for example, a tulle skirt, which can be safely combined with a strict blazer below the hip and not look like a ballerina. In general, everything is limited by your imagination.
Photos: Wikipedia, Rochas, Roksanda, Moncler / Simone Rocha