By the end of the 1850s the cage crinoline had reached the physical maximum it could manage; both technologically, and in terms of how well women could navigate a room. In 1860 that dome d volume began to alter shape. The transition to the first emergence of the bustle silhouette had begun.
This evening dress by Emile Pingat of Paris is not only a perfect example of that transition of shape, but also of the coming vogue for the "more is better" ideal that flooded the Victorian era.
Grateful thanks to the Metropolitan Museum of New York and its astounding collection for the images of this amazing garment.