… All of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, in 1883, every woman had to wear a huge, shelf like structure jutting out of her rear end like the back of a horse.
The style had been shown by fashion houses of Paris in 1880 in response to women not liking the Natural Form with it’s long slender and lean (expensive) form. This new type of bustle was much different that the two earlier bustle (and “non bustle” Natural Form) eras of the 1870’s. It depended on built structure underneath, which meant the layers and layers of draping and fabric used before, could be dispensed with.
(Sketch left: 1880 French fashion plate; Photo right: how it came out in reality in an afternoon silk taffeta walking dress 1883)