A Fashionable Disaster

A Fashionable Disaster


Handmade cushion cover.

The Chromarty has sourced a hand made pillowcase from the English countryside. Made from natural linen, as a backdrop for stitchery in bold colours of a woman pottering about in her garden.. carrying the weight of a Crinoline. It only took a week to make for that someone…

Invented in 1856 by a Parisian spinster and known variously as a skeleton petticoat, a cage, a carcass and a hoop skirt, but most usually as a crinoline - a sensation and at the height of its popularity in the 1850s and 1860s, demand was so high that British producers were unable to keep up. The Crinoline, originally, a petticoat made of horsehair fabric, took its name from the French word crin/horsehair. Pretty hot and unhygienic, but in any case, showing off a very thin waist.. Relatively. A fire hazard, showstopper and a challenge for passing traffic at social gatherings.

-It was a buzzing evening in the Parisian restaurant, crowded with diners cooling off after a hot summers day. When a gentleman appeared with his woman carrying the weight of a crinoline. The diners glanced up as the woman began to make her way towards their allocated table.  

Suddenly, the woman whose crinoline, although not the biggest in the room, began to show symptoms of rebellion on passing between the chairs... she absolutely refused to move, although urged to do so by the gentleman’s cane.  As the woman then struggled to loosen her dress and move forward, the crowd “all rose to gaze on the spectacle.”  Waiters left their positions, diners flocked to the center of the restaurant, and crowds came pouring through the restaurant to see the woman whose foolish desire to be fashionable had led to her being cemented in one place.  

The nineteenth-century reporter who recounted this story was convinced that catastrophes of this type---which he believed happened all too frequently, would soon signal the end of the crinoline, the stiffened petticoat or caged skirt structure which created the hoop skirts of the 1850s and 1860s.

Needless to say, the reporter Percy Fitzgerald was wrong. The crinoline would reign supreme in European and American fashion for a couple of decades after his article first appeared. Then it was time for the first women wearing trousers to be mocked.  

Embroidery As a Past time activity.

Rozsika Parker's classic re-evaluation of the reciprocal relationship between women and embroidery, has brought stitchery out from the privacy of female domesticity into the fine arts, creating a big breakthrough in art history and criticism, and bringing life to the emergence of today's dynamic and expanding crafts movements.

The Subversive Stitch is available at Amazon.com with an introduction that brings the book up to date with exploration of the stitched art of Louise Bourgeois and Tracey Emin, as well as the work of new young embroiderers.  Rozsika Parker uses household accounts, women's magazines, letters, novels and the works of art themselves to trace through history how the separation of the craft of embroidery from the fine arts came to be a major force in the marginalisation of women's work. Beautifully illustrated, her book also discusses the contradictory nature of women's experience of embroidery: how it has inculcated female subservience while providing an immensely pleasurable source of creativity and connecting women.

Free shipping worldwide on this one :) She is a keen traveller.

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