History of the Cross

Corsets before 1500

We cannot be sure if corsets existed before 1500, as information about them is unreliable. Many books say that Cretan women used the corset around 2000 BC when they made idols in the form of a corset. The idols were originally two round pots from bottom to bottom, the handle on the top pot being the nose of the idols and the border from bottom to bottom was the waist. The form was traditional to idols and not the shape of Cretan women. The details of the idols tell us that the ancient Cretan idols wore large loins, and the later idols have a tunic with open lace and a loin cloth. The corset-shaped figure of the idols was a primitive Cretan style.

Some 15th-century maidens wore a long tight lace dress, but it was only a dress, not a corset.

The Iron Cross covers, around 1500

Iron corsets are Victorian-era corset covers made of metal. There are several that can be found in museum collections today.

It is sometimes claimed that these corsets were everyday wear for women and girls throughout Europe in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. However, it is more likely to be orthopedic instruments used by very few women whose posture was not considered acceptable by the health and beauty standards of the time.

It seems that the Iron Cross was originally a type of armor worn only by men.

Later, the “iron corset” was used by both men and women, but only at dress events. Both you iron and the dress were heavy and the iron was padded under like armor. The silk of the time was extremely expensive, but of poor quality, and it did not stretch well. However, it looked good on the shiny metal. The iron corset also functioned as a bulletproof vest, as murder with a knife in the heart was a common risk.

The padded “iron cross” and armor were known as a cross on women and a vest (vest) on men.

Crossed residence, 1550 to 1890

Stay is an old type of cross. A stay is worn over the dress or skirt and laced to the waist as opposed to a more conventional corset extending below the hips. Typically, this was done manually in 1860 or earlier in some countries. Over time, stays became shorter and shorter and eventually developed into an early form of brass.

A set of stays has a shoulder strap as opposed to a waist.

Victorian Corsets, 1831 – 1901

When most people think of a cross, they have an idea of ​​a “Victorian cross”; However, the British Victorian consisted of a long period of changes in culture and fashion from 1837 to 1901. During that time many styles of corsets were in use. The most ubiquitous feature was the “horizontal waist” which was common from ca. 1850 to 1899. The “Victorian corsets” on sale today are probably New Look corsets.

The S-curve cross (1900) and the straight-fronted cross, 1903 – 1912

The straight front corset (also known as the tail bill corset and the S-curve corset) was a type of corset worn from the beginning of the nineteenth century until about 1907. Its name derives from the very rigid, straight bush used in the middle of the front.

It was the most complicated shape of the cross ever made, with high quality corsets consisting of up to 48 intricately curved and shaped pieces. The straight front corset was intended to be less harmful to the wearer’s health than other corsets; but when worn too tightly, these corsets were the most uncomfortable and damaging corset style that has ever been widely popular. The silhouette given by the straight cross is known from the Gibson Girl of the period.

The just cross was popularized by Inez Gaches-Sarraute, who was a corsetier with a degree of medicine. The style was probably the result of several like-minded corsets and medical professionals. It was intended to create fewer health problems and be less restrictive than previous types of corsets. The hourglass corset “suppressed the bust”, and the spoon bucket, which often curved inward for part of its length, “forced the bodies down”, Gaches-Sarraute claimed in his 1900 study Le Corset: Etude Physiologique and Pratique (The Corset: A Physiological and Practical Study ).

Gaches-Sarraute proposed a corset that: released the bust by starting under the breasts; supported, rather than narrowed, the abdomen with a very stiff, straight bush and inflexible boning.

The first element was not problematic, although to create the ‘monobosome’ effect that was in vogue, women began to wear bust followers whose design eventually led to the brassiere.

However, the second feature created more problems. When the straight front cross was worn, laced moderately tight, very little pressure was applied to the abdomen and some of the compression was transferred to the sides of the waist where the boning was easier. However, due to the extreme stiffness at the front of the corset, it was possible to achieve greater reductions in waist size than with the hourglass corset. When the corset was tightened, it put a great deal of pressure on the lower abdomen. This caused the S-curve silhouette: the wearer’s hips were retracted, giving a deep curve to her lower back and her chest pressed forward. In most cases, bandage in a straight corset caused lower back pain, respiratory distress, and knee problems (through hyperextension).

Pipe-shape corsets, 1912 – 1928?

Tubular form was a name sometimes given to a type of cross in fashion from 1908 to 1920. It helped give the sleek, straight silhouette that was a reaction to the exaggerated curves of the S-shape cross.

The tubular corset should not be confused with the tubular stem, which is sometimes found on other corsets, especially the hourglass corset.

Modern history

The corset fell out of fashion in the 1920s in Europe and America, replaced by belts and elastic brass, but survived as costume items. The corset was originally a lingerie outfit and has become a popular outerwear in fetish, BDSM and goth subcultures.

There was a brief revival of the corset in the late 1940s and early 1950s in the shape of the waist. This was used to give the hourglass figure dictated by Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’. However, the use of the waist was limited to haute couture and most women continued to wear belts. This revival was brief as New Look gave way to a less dramatically shaped silhouette.

Since the late 1980s, the corset has experienced periodic revivals, which usually originate in haute couture and have occasionally undergone mainstream fashion. These revivals focus on the corset as a garment rather than underwear. The strongest of these revivals was seen in fall 2001 fashion collections and coincided with the release of the movie Moulin Rouge !, where the costumes included many corsets. Even more recently, Kylie Minogue has again aroused people’s interest in corsets by wearing one for her 2005 tour.

The majority of garments sold as corsets during these recent revivals cannot really be counted as corsets at all. While they often have lacing and boning and generally mimic a historical style of the cross, they have very little influence on the shape of the wearer’s body. This is not the case with the Vollers corsets that we have in stock.