14 thoughts on “Titanic (1997) Corsetry: Historically Accurate?

  1. I have a hate/love/hate relationship with Glamour’s “fact checking” videos. I watched one about Belle, which was done by a different fashion expert and I found the analysis pretty much acurate overall but I had some SERIOUS issues with the Snow White fact check. I would be curious to see your take on the other Glamour Fact checks. I know there were a lot of very disgruntled Norwegian people in the comments of the one for Frozen.

    1. (1) I find it weird that Edwardians tried to popularize their health corsets as a healthier alternative to earlier corsets,but the corset covering the hips doesn’t seem mobility friendly(but I have never worn a corset,so I am open to more information by someone who has actually worn both).
      (2) The illustrations for the Glamour series are laughably atrocious.They spend money in hiring learned fashion historians,but whatever illustrations they come up with seem like no attention was paid to the person judging the costumes.They painstakingly mention about the different styles of the entire century,but the illustration ends up like a game of permutation and combination of hairstyle,makeup,sleeves,skirt and bodice silhouette.And “structure” gets depicted as a slouching mess that would make Keira Knightley cringe.
      The costuming in Titanic was so beautiful,I had forgotten how inaccurate the bust silhouette was.Not ugly,but didn’t strike me as anything remotely,vaguely Edwardian on Kate Winslet.They fared better on the supporting characters,but Rose seemed to have been the basis of compromise on the positioning of the bust.I couldn’t find any of those interviews with the director or the costuming team proudly declaring their “cReAtIvE_LiBeRtY” and I find it weird that they chose this specific silhouette on Kate when it wasn’t even popular in the 90s(as far as I remember).The Edwardian fashion is perhaps the most dramatically shaped fashion eras,I wonder the reason for ditching the brassier?bust bodice?ruffly corset cover?,which is infact the yin to the yang of Edwardian corsets.The Edwardian silhouette had been meticulously recreated in many Merchant Ivory films with smaller budgets,so Titanic was a bit weird when it comes to silhouette.Otherwise patterns,fitting,textures,colours,and accessories were on point throughout for the eyes to feast upon.

      1. Oops,it wasn’t meant as a reply.Where art thou edit board when I need thee most.

  2. As usual, I take umbrage with the idea that tight foundation garments (Edwardian corsets in this case) equals oppression. Pressure to alter my body via Sisyphean diet and exercise is not freer than wearing extra underwear.

    On a related note, thanks for the pre-Spanx Spanx images.

      1. If I have to choose between the cruel, vicious oppression of shapewear to make my body conform to whatever shape is in fashion, and the glorious freedom of constant diet and workout to obtain whatever shape is in fashion, I know what I’m picking. Pass the corsets and that plate of sandwiches, please.

  3. Thanks for the edited crops from the films. They finally make clear to me why women that don’t have the correct “shape” in historical films, do not look like women from the correct period. The dropped bustline does everything.

  4. I love the fantasy advert drawings implying hips can be magically reduced to practically nothing by magical corsetry.

  5. Interestingly, I prefer the appearance of the lower, wider bust. It just looks more natural. Perhaps, as I age, I am not so keen on a ‘perky’ bust line. :-D

  6. This scene always bugged me, because it was very obvious in the next scene that she was NOT wearing that ridiculous corset underneath her dress. The weird padded poof up at the top would have shown both in the outline of her Sunday gown and interfered with her cleavage in the later gowns.

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