Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The art of Corset Building is strong in fashion.

The art of Corset Building is strong in fashion. Industry giants Christian Dior and Jean Paul Gaultier both showcased corset styles in their Spring 2010 runway shows. Why is this style so popular and where else can we see it in the coming few years?

“We’ve seen in Los Angeles that there is a high demand for fashion corsets to wear for special events as well as for going to the clubs at night,” says Linda Sparks, owner of Farthingales L.A., and author of The Basics of Corset Building. “Women are looking to get away from shapeless, fluid clothes and go into a more form flattering, knock-out design. One corset can be worn for business apparel under a suit jacket, and then become a fashion forward showpiece when the jacket is removed for an evening on the town.”

Is this style going to play in Peoria? Probably not. But if you are catering to the 20-something crowd who wants fun fashion with edge, offering reasonably priced ready made corsets or ready-to-sew corset kits provide this younger crowd with a great addition to their wardrobe that they can’t pick up in big box chain stores or even many novelty alternative stores. More mature women still appreciate a well boned bodice which provides support and a flattering figure while maintaining a classic, timeless look.

Linda Sparks even created an alternative option for people wanting an easy to sew corset. “The most comfortable corsets are custom made, which can run several hundred dollars. Endeavoring to build a corset can be intimidating the first time one sits down to cut the numerous pattern pieces. The Rye & Ginger Kit is an “open-and-sew” underbust corset kit for the first-timer who wants to make a quick corset and spend under $100,” explains Sparks. Her Rye & Ginger Kits allow the purchaser to choose a size, choose the theme of the fabric, and everything needed will be in the kit except the grommets and thread. Launched at the Creative Festival in Toronto last fall, this kit has been popular with young sewists, burlesque dancers, costumers and teachers of fashion in Canada.

Corset supplies are also very important in fashion outside the realm of actual corsets. Go through archived articles from sewing magazines and you will find uses for spiral and steel bones in couture jackets and boned bodices. Pattern companies like Vogue Patterns and Kwik-Sew continue to feature classic fashions needing boning. In many retail fabric stores the only boning available is a featherweight boning which is too lightweight for many higher end construction techniques, and it tends to bend or crease. Plastic covered boning is more common, and is fine for lightweight applications, such as on a body where there are few fitting issues. Steel boning offers greater stability while remaining flexible so the wearer can move and breath and enjoy wearing the garment and is ideal for garments with challenging fitting issues, such as a bustier woman wanting to go sleeveless. Corset supplies can be found at many finer independent fabric stores as well as on-line.

Rogie Sussman Faber is Director of Internet Operations for VogueFabricsStore.com and a third generation owner of Vogue Fabrics, Inc.