The dress dance


Contrary to popular belief, not all fashion is introduced by some large retail or big name designer. Take the accordion skirt for example which, much like the stiletto heel, made its debut in none other than a dance  (Burlesque) house from the 1880’s by a popular dancer named Loie Fuller. The dance fad of the era was called ‘skirt dancing’, a non formal type of ballet which required a dancer to manipulate anywhere from 13 to 100 yards of fabric, usual cast in a fantastical myriad of colors, with their arms to create and arching, flowing movement.

The tight accordion pleating that hid the yards of fabric slowly trickled down from the dance houses to the respectable class as the bottom layer of the aristocratic bustled gowns of the 1880’s. Albeit in a more mundane, sophisticated solid color traditionally, than that worn by the vibrant women of the night. Though not not all the fun was taken out of it, as the daring, bold and vividly colored plaid trend made it’s appearance around the same time so the accordion skirt didn’t loose all it’s roots, at least for those daring enough to brave the new plaid print.

Though I am neither a lady of the evening nor a tightly corseted heiress, I can still appreciate the rich history and feminine freedom bolstered in this skirts timeless design; as I am reminded that innovation can be found even in the most unlikely of places.


Pleated skirt Sfizio

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