This educational glass slide shows an illustration of a 'Lady of the Court of Charles X of France' and 'The first Corset of the Modern Period, approaching our own Corset Waist about 1825'. In addition to her dress, the woman has: a headdress made of feathers; gloves; handkerchief; fan; pearl necklace; and ruffled high sleeves. The dress shows markedly more flesh than fashion from later in the century when it was considered immodest for a woman to expose her body below the neck.
This slide is a romanticised view of the first 'modern' corset and was used as part of the training for Berlei undergarment fitters in the 1930s. Positioning Berlei corsets from the 1930s alongside those from the early 1800s, worn by royalty, adds to the idea that corsets are a desirable tradition that has been modernised and made accessible to Australian women.
Notes by Beth Taylor