Sparklewren

aesthetic art corsetry

1890s - 1900s champagne silk corset

This was one of my favourite pieces from the Bath Fashion Museum's collection of antique corsetry.

Courtesy/copyright of Bath Fashion Museum.

Courtesy/copyright of Bath Fashion Museum.

It has that quite substantially boned aesthetic of much late-Victorian bridal corsetry, which you may already know is a huge influence for my fully-boned corsets. The combination of sleek silk satin with an elegant shape makes me very happy, even more so when self-coloured flossing is involved. The main challenge of fully-boned corsetry though, is construction. How many layers to use, which fabrics, etc. etc.

Courtesy/copyright of Bath Fashion Museum.

Courtesy/copyright of Bath Fashion Museum.

Again and again I find myself wanting to explore a lighter way of doing this style and a couple of options have been known to me for years... Namely, do what the antiques do. I haven't tried it yet as there is of course the question of meeting the requirements/expectations of contemporary wearers (and their expectations are often in direct contrast to how most antique corsetry was actually done!), but I'm hoping to find the time soon to explore light-weight fully-boned corsetry. When I do, I'll write more about it on the soon-to-be-revealed subscription-access blog, Life Behind the Brand. Indeed, I have already started writing on a similar project... 

Courtesy/copyright of Bath Fashion Museum.

Courtesy/copyright of Bath Fashion Museum.

In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy these iPad snaps from Bath. This corset has a few quirky features which I love. It reminded me of creating an Edwardian piece for my friend Cathy. We made it as "antique" as possible, which meant doing some things I wouldn't normally do. It was very interesting and freeing though! To suddenly find that a detail I would normally consider "wrong" and displeasing was suddenly "good" on account of the context it was in.

Courtesy/copyright of Bath Fashion Museum.

Courtesy/copyright of Bath Fashion Museum.

As ever, it's always about the time and resources available, but it's been over a year since I did this Edwardian piece for Cathy (I can't quite say "replica" as it was based on many pieces and an overall ethos, than just copied from one antique) so perhaps it's time to revisit the idea... Antiques re-imagined as authentically as possible, in order to learn and unlock their secrets.

 

1902 corset by Sparklewren.

1902 corset by Sparklewren.

1902 corset by Sparklewren.

1902 corset by Sparklewren.

1902 corset by Sparklewren.

1902 corset by Sparklewren.

Cathy in her silk taffeta and thin cotton coutil "Edwardian" corset. 1902 to 2013.

Cathy in her silk taffeta and thin cotton coutil "Edwardian" corset. 1902 to 2013.