Carolina Herrera
/ Hoops & Bustles
Designs may be inventive and modern even when they reinterpret garments as seemingly antithetical to modern fashion as hoop skirts or bustles. Detractors have decried referencing as derivative, but innovation is often the result of a backward glance to fashions past.

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Bustles and trains made intermittent comebacks during the 1980s, and were often characterized as “romantic” or “whimsical.” But Vogue noted in December 1988, that such elaborate styles were on the wane; evening fashion was no longer about “maneuvering oversized crinolines and dramatic poufs through narrow doorways, about finding a modern way to sit comfortably with a bustle pressing at your back.”

Carolina Herrera
Cocktail dress
Black velvet, white polka dot silk taffeta
Fall 1988, USA
The Museum at FIT, 2005.48.8
Gift of Carolina Herrera, Ltd.