Last week, I showed you my final bra in the Spring/Summer collection, my Pink Keyhole bra. This week begins a new series of lingerie delights to show you - the coming weeks will all feature wonderful unmentionables made using a pedicure foot file, a tapered awl and a grommet press.
Yes, you guessed it, it's all about corsets!
Overbust, underbust, gothic, renaissance, Victorian or Steampunk, every woman looks amazing in a corset.
Much maligned over the centuries, the corset has a reputation for causing swooning, breaking ribs and deforming livers. However, a lot of the information out there is incorrect.
Catherine de Medici decided she didn't like 'thick waists' and insisted women wore corsets while at court. Although corsets, or a variation thereof, have been around since ancient times, our 'mordern' understanding of the corset stems from around this time, as do many of the myths.
One of these myths is that corsets are uncomfortable. Comfort is a very subjective thing, but personally, I find a corset hugely comfortable. I love the feeling of being held and supported, especially around my lower abdomen - plus it's the only way I'll ever have a flat stomach, that's a win-win in my book!
Another of these myths is that many women were cinched in to ridiculous levels with grown women exhibiting 13" waists. A lot of these ideas come from fetish literature of the time - possibly not the most reliable of secondary historical sources. If a hundred years into the future, people assumed our underwear habits from fetish literature from 2015, their perspective would be rather skewed.
Most women only cinched their waists in about 1-2 inches, and rarely more than 4.
Add to this that hooped skirts, bustles and puffed sleeves were also worn throughout the ages, and this added to the illusion of a teeny-tiny waist.
While extreme cinching is not without health concerns, corset wearing didn't cause tuberculosis or scoliosis. Again, we do things routinely in this day and age, which could potentially lead to health concerns; for example the wearing of high heels. In fact, we do things today that have more immediate and long lasting effects, like the current trend for wearing large grommets in the ears.
Despite all the myths, corsets have an enduring appeal, and as I mentioned above, every woman looks amazing in a corset with only an inch or two of cinch. Many fashions have come and gone, but corsets are still around and they are once again gaining in popularity. The tailored, uber feminine shape that it gives is strongly juxtaposed to the modern uniform of jeans and a baggy t-shirt, and in many ways allows a woman to celebrate her curves, her femininity and her beauty. So, in the next few weeks, I'll be showcasing some corset-makes and hopefully getting you all as excited as I am about these beautiful garments.