Front cover image for Fashioning the body : an intimate history of the silhouette

Fashioning the body : an intimate history of the silhouette

This unique survey offers fascinating insights into the convoluted transformations employed by both men and women to accommodate the fickle dictates of fashion. With high design, wit, and style, Fashioning the Body tracks the evolution of these sartorial devices-from panniers, crinolines, and push-up bras to chains, zippers, and clasps-concealed beneath outer layers in order to project idealized figures. Women's corsets constricted waists; exaggerated buttocks and hips counterbalanced jutting bust lines; and chic, aerodynamic silhouettes compressed breasts and flattened bellies. Yet masculine fashion has been no stranger to these tortuous practices. Men flaunted their virility by artificially broadening their shoulders, applying padding to their chests, and slipping codpieces over their groins. With more than 200 beautiful illustrations-including reproductions of superb historic advertisements-Denis Bruna reveals the industry and art of these contrivances meant to entice and beguile as well as assert status and power. Contemporary haute-couture designers Thierry Mugler, Jean Paul Gaultier, Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garcons, Christian Lacroix, and Vivienne Westwood are featured in this indiscreet tour of intimate fashion history
Print Book, English, 2015
Published for Bar Graduate Center, Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture by Yale University Press, New York, 2015
Exhibition catalogues
271 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 28 cm
9780300204278, 0300204272
Introduction / Denis Bruna ; 14th-16th century. Medieval fashion, bodies, and transformations / Denis Bruna ; Puffed out chests and paunched bellies : the broadening of men's bodies from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century / Denis Bruna ; The pourpoint of Charles de Blois / Maximilien Durand ; "Falsity and pretense" : stuffed codpieces / Denis Bruna ; Women's undergarments and the submission of the body in the sixteenth century / Axel Moulinier, Sophie Vesin ; The enigma of the iron corset / Denis Bruna, Sophie Vesin ; Under the ruff / Denis Bruna
17th-18th century. The ancien régime of the body / Michel Delon ; From the doublet to the justaucorps : a man's silhouette in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries / Aurore Pierre ; Whalebone bodies and panniers : the mechanics of good carriage in the eighteenth century / Anne-Cécile Moheng ; Whalebone stays and corsets for children from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries / Anaïs Biernat
19th century. The nineteenth century : from artifice to anonymity / Georges Vigarello ; The corset, essential protagonist of modern femininity / Aurore Bayle-Loudet ; Crinolines and bustles : the reign of metallic artifices / Lina María Paz ; Corsets, stomach belts, and padded calves : the masculine silhouette reconfigured / Sophie Lamotte
20th-21st century. Contemporary undergarments / Anne Zazzo ; Brassieres, girdles, waspies and cami-panties since 1900 / Charlotte Delory ; Corsets, crinolines, and bustles in today's fashions : drawing creative inspiration from the history of undergarments / Sophie Lemahieu ; New underwear and notions of virility in contemporary society / Shaun Cole
Translation of: La mécanique des dessous : une histoire indiscrete de la silhouette
"Published in conjunction with the exhibition 'Fashioning the body: an intimate history of the silhouette', held at the Bard Graduate Center, New York, April 3 to July 26, 2015."
Translated from the French