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The grammar of western clothing : All dressed up

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Mireille Tembouret 


History, function, codes and characteristics of all the dresses

Corsets, panniers, crinolines or bustles are words that no longer have significance today. But at various times throughout the history of clothing, women wore these essential pieces under their dresses and often needed help to put them on. 

Depending on the fashions of each period, certain parts of the body were highlighted as elements of seduction (a tiny waist, extremely wide hips, an exaggerated bottom,...). Women sought what they believed to be an ideal of perfection while obeying the strict, often extravagant codes of Fashion and social norms.


It was the events surrounding World Wars I and II and then the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1970s that finally introduced dresses which did not restrict the body.

But even today, dresses still assert a woman’s femininity. Every woman has at least one precise memory of a dress that marked a key event in her life and was intrinsically associated with her joy of pleasing others! 


  • 20x28
  • French / English
  • 144 pages
  • Soft cover / bound


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