Chapter Xxvl

REIGN OF NAPOLEON III, (CONTINUED).

1854 and 1855.

Crinoline inaugurates the second era of Imperial fashions—The reign of crinoline—Starched petticoats—Whaleboned petticoats —Steel hoops—Two camps are formed, one in favour of, and one inimical to crinoline—Large collars—Marie Antoinette fichus and mantles—-Exhibition of 1855—Cashmere shawls—Pure cashmeres—Indian cashmere shawls— Indian woollen shawls—" Mouzaia " shawls—Algerian burnouses—Pompadour parasols —Straight parasols—School for fans—The fan drill—The Queen of Oude's fans—The Charlotte Corday fichu.

Crinoline made its appearance, and revived the era of hoops. It was an ungraceful invention; the crinoline swayed about under the skirt in large graduated tubes made of horsehair.

cc Crinoline is only fit," said a clever woman, Cf for making grape-bags or soldiers' stocks."

This fashion was vigorously and constantly attacked. A lady, for instance, taking her seat in a railway carriage, was'compelled to hold her flounces together within the space allotted to her; but a great wave of crinoline overshadowed her neighbour during the whole journey. The next neighbour grumbled naturally, but in suppressed tones, for fear of giving offence. When the journey was over, very uncomplimentary remarks were passed on the obnoxious garment.

There were several other modes of sustaining the flounces of a gown. Why not adopt starched petticoats, or flounced or three-skirted petticoats in coarse calico?

Horsehair was surely not the only resource for swelling out one's clothes.

In spite of its opponents, or perhaps because of them, crinoline soon ruled with an absolute sway.

Numbers of women, after holding forth against ff those horrid

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