Corsets have been timeless symbols of elegance, beauty, and shaping garments throughout history. Their evolution is fascinating, transitioning from functional pieces to iconic symbols in fashion.
In this blog, let's delve into the history of corsets, their revival thanks to figures like YouTube star Bernadette Banner, and Marga van der Vet (for the BERNINA BLOG), and explore why they've made a comeback across various aspects of modern culture.
Corsets have a history that extends far beyond the Victorian era. Originally worn to accentuate the waist and improve posture, they began taking on the shape we recognize today in the 16th century, with the introduction of whalebone for a rigid structure.
During the Victorian period in the 19th century, corsets became an integral part of women's clothing. They portrayed the iconic hourglass figure but faced criticism for their restrictive nature. Nevertheless, Victorian corsets remain symbolic of that era, with their delicate fabrics, intricate designs, and emphasis on a slender waist.
In our era, corsets have seen a remarkable resurgence, partly thanks to social media influencers like Bernadette Banner. Her YouTube channel has become a haven for historical fashion enthusiasts, where she not only celebrates the beauty of corsets but also shares insights into their craftsmanship and the process of making them.
Creating your own corsets has become more accessible thanks to contributors like Marga van der Vet, who shed light on crafting corsets using modern methods and materials. This blend of traditional craft and contemporary techniques has sparked a renewed interest in corsets.
Why the surge in corset popularity?
It's a mix of factors. There's a growing interest in historical fashion and the craftsmanship involved, drawing in more enthusiasts. Additionally, the acceptance and embrace of diverse subcultures like cosplay, LARP, Gothic, Steampunk, and the allure of Fantasy Fairs and themed events have revived the allure of corsets.
For many, corsets are a way to express themselves and feel beautiful and confident. Others use corsets as an escape, a way to immerse themselves momentarily in another time or world.
The versatility of modern corsets is striking. Some wear them to achieve a sleeker waist under everyday attire, while others see corsets as statement pieces for special occasions. From ornate corsets with intricate details to more functional undergarments, corsets find their place in diverse settings.
At galas, parties, and special events, corsets increasingly serve as fashion accessories elevating outfits. In cosplay and LARP, corsets breathe life into characters, while at Fantasy Fairs, they add a touch of mystique to visitors' costumes.
In conclusion, corsets have transcended their historical origins. They've evolved into a form of self-expression, a means to connect with the past, and a tool to express creativity in the present. The resurgence of corsets, whether for waist emphasis or creating fantastic costumes, mirrors how fashion and identity continue to evolve through time.
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