July 22, 2014–December 20, 2014
For centuries, corsets contorted the female figure into the reigning ideal. Bound to Impress: Corsets from The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection highlighted these unnatural fashions between the 1760s and the 1820s. Whether conically shaped with rigid backs and flattened breasts or rounded hourglasses with sloped shoulders and cinched waistlines, garment silhouettes followed the dictates of these concealed undergarments. This exhibition covered sixty years—from the Ancien Régime, through the French Revolution, during the age of Napoléon, to the era of British Romanticism.