A painting of cornette-wearing Armand_Gautier
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A cornette is a piece of female headwear. It is essentially a type of wimple
consisting of a large, starched piece of white cloth that is folded upwards in such a way as to create the resemblance of horns (french: cornes) on the wearer's head. It remained fashionable for some Parisian ladies around 1800,
wearing ones made of muslin
and richly ornamented with lace
Use by the Daughters of Charity
The cornette was retained as a distinctive piece of clothing into modern times by the Daughters of Charity
, a Roman Catholic society of apostolic life
founded by St. Vincent de Paul
in the mid-17th century.
The founder wanted to have the sisters of this new type of religious congregation of women, that tended to the sick and poor, and were not required to remain in their cloister, resemble ordinary middle-class women as much as possible in their clothing, including the wearing of the cornette.
After the cornette generally fell into disuse, it became a distinctive feature of the Daughters of Charity, making theirs one of the most widely recognized religious habit
s. Because of the cornette, they were known in Ireland as the "butterfly nuns". In the United States, the Daughters of Charity wore wide, white cornettes for 114 years, from 1850 to 1964. With the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican
(Vatican II), the nun's habits were modernized to return to a clothing that better reflected their charitable role, working with the poor and infirm.
In popular culture
The 1967 television series ''The Flying Nun
'' features Sister Bertrille, who due to her light weight and the heavily starched cornette is able to fly.
* List of headgear
Category:History of clothing (Western fashion)
Category:Catholic religious clothing