Thinking last week about how buildings in construction are always so exciting, all floor plates and breezeways, came across Ingrid Mida who, among other things mostly to do with fashion, has an interest in substructure. Here, a chemise, corset and pannier worn under an 18th century gown, not literally of course, this is art, but somehow the transparency, the bones and webbing that make a form is always very interesting.
This is what the flat plate shapes drawn out by Diderot for the Encyclopédie lie upon. Unlike today where the shape of a garment is held in place by the body itself, in 18th century court dress there was an intervening cage that was supported by the body and in turn supported the garment. It is indeed architectural, this idea that with clothing one makes an inhabitable space and then protects it from the weather, sometimes decoratively, sometimes grimly.