Fashion’s Most Magnificent Disaster
Denis Pellerin and Sir Brian May
978-0-9574246-2-3 | Slipcase | 224 pages | 9.5″ x 12.5″
List Price: $75.00
Crinoline: Fashion’s Most Magnificent Disaster is about a fashion which died a natural death more than 100 years ago, and was itself responsible for the deaths of thousands – literally fashion victims! This beautifully packaged volume also comes in a slip cover and includes a 3-D viewer. A comprehensive history of the development of crinolines, this wholly unique and engaging volume weaves together contemporary accounts, 3-D photographs, cartoons and drawings from the excitable Victorian press to tell the story of Fashion’s Most Magnificent Disaster. Originally a name for the stiff horse hair fabric used to add volume to women’s dresses, Crinoline eventually became a blanket term for the ivory, wood, or wire structures that gave Victorian gowns their famously exaggerated proportions. Crinolines are still around today, but while they may be used to add a playful lift to the designs of fashion luminaries such as Zandra Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen and Yohji Yamamoto, few might be aware that this enduring fashion item harbors a dark and gruesome secret. Coming into vogue in France around 1856, this outrageous style would quickly come to dominate women’s fashion for over a decade.
However, due to their flammable materials and overwhelming dimensions which made them likely to bump into nearby candles and fireplaces, this fashion craze soon became a nightmare. It’s estimated that by the mid-1860s, crinolines had caused thousands of fire-related deaths and had been blamed for the financial ruin of countless families. The rise and fall of crinolines also happened to perfectly coincide with the advent of stereoscopy, a method for creating the illusion of three-dimensional depth in two-dimensional photographs with the use of specially made viewing glasses. This book documents both of these Victorian crazes in brilliant detail, allowing readers to gaze upon some of the world’s first true fashion victims in stunning 3-D.
“A very special and wonderful book with enlightened research unveiling fascinating facts…Great examples of 3D pictures totally in keeping with its historical importance, complete with 3D viewer.”
Denis Pellerin, dedicated photo historian, was a teacher for over 30 years and has been interested in photography since the age of ten. He was bitten by the stereo bug in the 1980s, has been fascinated by the Diableries for over 25 years, and has written several books and articles on 19th-century stereo photography for various magazines, institutions and museums. He graduated with an MA in Art History at the Sorbonne in 1999 and has since been specializing in French and British Victorian genre stereo views. Brian May, founder, member, songwriter and guitarist with the rock band Queen, and co-creator of the internationally successful rock theatrical, We Will Rock You, is also a Doctor of Astrophysics, a leading campaigner for animal rights, and a lifelong 3-D photography enthusiast. Most recently, he has become a successful publisher, dedicated to sharing his vast collection of Victorian stereo photographs with the world through the books released by The London Stereoscopic Company (a fond recreation of the highly successful company of the same name founded in 1854). Brian currently tours with Queen for much of the year with Adam Lambert as lead vocalist, as well as composing, recording and performing in collaboration with West End star Kerry Ellis, an original luminary of the cast of We Will Rock You. His many other recent projects include working on 3-D 360-degree virtual reality movies, and the movie, Bohemian Rhapsody, the award-winning biopic of Freddie Mercury. Brian lives in London with his wife, his partner for over thirty years, actress Anita Dobson.