The Alexandra Limp and Other Affectations of Posture
In the 1860s, when Queen Alexandra, then the Princess of Wales, suffered a painful attack of rheumatism in her knee which, in time, resulted in a permanent limp, high society women London, keen as ever to stay on trend with the day’s fashion, began to sycophantically imitate it. It became ridiculously popular and was known as the Alexandra Limp, although it was ‘widely derided’ by, well, by anyone with any sense probably. John Stephen Farmer called it “an erstwhile fit of semi-imbecility” by “a crowd of limping petticoated toadies”.
Be that as it may, the fad was followed by a similar curiosity of posture in the USA, namely, The Grecian Bend, which saw women apparently go about their business whilst bent oddly at the waist. Albert Jones Bellows describes in a sighting in Boston:"She waddled a few rods past the store, and then turned round, smiling, or rather smirking, complacently on her ‘crowd of admirers,’ with an expression of face which seemed to say, … ‘All my torture is repaid by the admiration I excite.’"
[Sources: Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (p.25) | Futility Closet | Telegraph | Wikipedia]