One of my favorite historical fashion periods is 19th-century bustles, and I’m not picky about the specific type — I like all the varieties from the really big first bustle fashions of the 1870s through the slim natural-form styles of the early 1880s until the final aggressive bustle shapes of the late 1880s. All of these dress shapes moved the skirting towards the back in some way, with the size of the “pouf” getting bigger or smaller, more rounded or more architectural, depending on the exact year. Films and TV shows tend to pick a tight range of bustle styles and use that throughout the production because showing the progression of sizes would be a lot more work without much gain for the story.
When I tried to pick my favorite top fives bustle frock flicks, I had some trouble … there are too many to choose from! There are some frock flicks that are crammed full of lots of fabulous bustle gowns, but there are others that have only a few bustle gowns, but they’re really spectacular and memorable ones. So I’m doing two top fives, and here’s part one. I’m counting down from 10 to 1 of the best bustle frock flicks, starting this week and continuing next Friday!
10. Crimson Peak (2015)
There aren’t a lot of bustle gowns in this horror movie, but it has two freaking AMAZING ones.
9. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Supposedly set in the 1890s, this movie shouldn’t have any bustle gowns. But it has a couple that have become iconic.
8. Gaslight (1944)
Some of the best black-and-white era bustles around. Surprisingly historically accurate for the ’40s and just plain gorgeous.
7. Original Sin (2001)
The less-clothed sex scenes are what we may remember from this movie, but the costumes (when worn!) are really quite beautiful.
6. Anna Karenina (1997)
Depressing story with divinely elegant bustles. Just watch for the costumes.
This is just the first half — what do you think so far? What bustle frock flicks do you predict will be in next week’s top five?