the March meeting of the Snitterfield WI, our President Judith
Walker welcomed members including three visitors. After several
notices and various business matters, she introduced our speaker
for the evening, Rod Quilter. The title of his talk was "Remarkable
Restraints - the history of corsetry."
Rod is a trustee of the Costume Society, which deals in the history
of costume. He is a retired broker whose interest in fashion history
grew from chance contacts with museums and as a volunteer on the
Symington collection of historical fashion items. His interest
is in British and European fashion from the 19th Century to the
present day - especially corsetry.
He brought along about 60 items ranging in age from the late 18th
Century to the present day. The earliest ones were awesome things
full of whalebones and lacings. The fabric of these were mostly
heavy cotton and the boning was not only whalebone but also steel
and wire.They also held the suspenders for holding up stockings
and these were also heavy with metal fastenings which tended to
rust!. Some of the later ones of this era were enhanced with lace
and satin panels. At this time ladies did not wear bras. In the
twenties and thirties corsets became smaller but were still stiffened
with boning. At this time a garment was produced for flattening
the bosom because this was a time when skirts were shortened and
hair was cut short to produce the "Flapper" look. During
the fifties and sixties "rollons" took over from corsets.
These were made from strong elastic and one simply stepped in
to them and rolled them into position. Bras came in many different
fabrics and colours. Today, apparently, ladies are still able
to order the more substantial type of support or there are the
more flimsy garments that the modern lady prefers. Rod travels
the country and abroad adding to his fascinating collection.
The next meeting is Wednesday April 13th . The speaker Marie-Clare
Hoare will talk about "The funny side of the law". Visitors
are always welcome. Contact Judith 731996 or Sylvia 73127