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Article on The Corset



All boned and no where to go!

Curves, waspish waists and hourglass outlines is what makes the female figure so attractive to the opposite sex.

Marilyn Monroe all time fashion icon had the perfect hour glass figure and became very famous not only for her acting and singing, but purely on the way she looked.  The bustiest and hippiest seem to be back in vogu


Then came along Madonna who pioneered the corset as outerwear in the 1980’s and is currently sporting the look on her current world tour.








And she’s not the only celeb wearing the boned beauties.  Victoria Beckham, rarely is seen without one on at celebrity nights, sometimes she is even seen shopping in one!






Designers like Dolce and Gabbana, especially Vivienne Westwood- has a love affair with the corset, which are interpreted into extremely beautiful garments.






  Autumn/Winter 1990                        Autumn/Winter 91

            Collection:Portrait                         Collection: Dressing up


But, why do so many woman in the news love to be seen wearing a corset.  They are not the most comfortable of garments to wear, afterall wasn’t the 1920’s about liberation of the female form.  Generations of females couldn’t wait to burn their bra’s, dresses were shapeless with absolutely no emphasis on the body.  The suffragettes where a prime example!


Alan Scott, programme leader for fashion at Northumbria University and former design director at Donna Karen, says:

“Women who are in the news like people to know they have a figure, and what better way to do that than by wearing a corset.  A corset completely exaggerates the figure and is ideal for those who want to show off their body.”


The corset is a look that can either be dressed up or down.  It is great for accentuating your body.  It is in some ways the same as owning a great pair of jeans or sunglasses.  It is a must have item in your wardrobe.


The corset of today however is nothing like what they were a century ago.  Technology has allowed for softer materials with stretch in them, which is used in most corsets of today.  Boning back then was mage of whalebone or metal, today boning is much softer too, even though they are still restricting, well, they wouldn’t be a corset if they didn’t have some uncomfortableness to them are much more easier to wear.


Edwardian women suffered terrible as a result of wearing a corset, especially the S-bend corset, which unfortunately led to hand span waist, protruding posterior and accentuated hips.


Linda Watson, author of Vogue, Twentieth Century Fashion explains:

“ The fabric used at the time was so tight that the s-corset curved the spine.  Women often fainted because they were so tight but the real problems were that they pushed up the ribs and damaged internal organs from wearing them everyday.”




(A pair of stays red wool.  English. 1780-1790, Given by the family of the late Mrs Jane Robinson.)



This is an emerging trend and this is where it will filter down to the mass market through stores like Marks and Spencer.


The corset in my view is all about confidence and power.  Women like them but will choose when they wear them-and that it is that choice that makes a women powerful when she puts it on.


Vanessa Camelia

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