Concealed elements inside the outfit to help create the desired silhouette and volume.
1. The corset
A rigid structure that compresses and models the torso, sometimes to the point of deforming it. Made of silk, cotton or linen, with stays of cane, olive wood, palm, whalebone (baleen), iron or steel, the corset both the contains the bust and the waist and applies traction, pushing the breasts up and the hips down.
Is the corset, instrument of torture and sign of virtue, indispensable to women's beauty?
2. The crinoline
A bell-shaped structure formed of a series of hoops of reed, iron or steel parallel to the ground. The crinoline is tied at the waist, over the drawers and chemise, and comes down almost to the ground. It supports and gives a rounded shape to the skirt, creating a large space between the legs and the fabric of the dress.
3. The bustle
The bustle, a development of the crinoline, flattens the belly and accentuates the rump. Its structure is a series of arc-shaped metal struts, tied to one another and suspended from the waist, working in compression. It can also take the form of padded cushions attached at the waist.
4. The bra
The widespread use of the brassiere coincides with the disappearance of the corset in the early twentieth century. The bra's function is to support, separate and shape the breasts. Different forms serve to flatten, reduce or expand the torso.