Pin-up, cabaret, MET Gala and Bridgerton Chronicle ? Nothing at first. But it is the corset that binds them together. From a tool of women’s oppression to a symbol of protest, this article of clothing has come a long way since the Renaissance and is making a strong comeback in our wardrobes. Decoding.
LBridgertons Chronicle, this is the series that brought the corset back into fashion. With 627 million hours viewed In the first 28 days of its broadcast, this success of Netflix has taken a place in the hearts of both the public and the fashion world. Indeed, it rekindled the trend. Regencycorewhich consists of adopting a clothing and decorative style close to the Regency period, where the adventures of Daphne, Antony, and Kate Sharma take place, according to the magazine. Grazia. A new fashion that brands can predict: Stradivarius meat Bloomingdale’s presents special collections inspired by the series this year. They followed H&M who did it after season 1 last year. Their most important part: the corset.
It is the ultimate proof that this phenomenon has penetrated beyond the screens into our dressing rooms, our clothing platform. Desire saw corset searches increased by 123% since the launch of the series ah! mag. 21-year-old Eva is one of the world’s unconditional fans. Bridgertons Chronicle and she bought her first corset thanks to the series. “At first I was a little scared, but I thought I had a small chest to try once. I wanted to look like the heroine of season 1, Daphne, and the girls on social networks. I wore it and I felt free and I felt free. It’s beautiful,” she recalls.
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For Sophie Lemahieu, costume director of the Comédie Française and author of the book Dressing in politics – The clothes of women in power 1936-2022, pop culture is ubiquitous in our lifestyles. “Unconscious but all elements of pop culture affect us”, he assures. This example specifically states that Bridgerton Chronicles but also if we consider cosplayers, people who dress up as their favorite manga, anime or even video game character. This movement originating from pop culture also participates in the fact that the protagonists of these fictions are often updated by wearing corsets.
Different time, same danger
Sophie Lemahieu also analyzes the present-day ambivalence of this dress: “One can wear it to claim that before the corset was imposed by the societal norm, to bony bodies from the 16th century to the 19th century. Conversely, a person could conform his body to existing beauty canons. , so you can wear it to force a fit with a slim waist, a defined bust, and blooming hips,” she explains.
This desire to have the perfect body, championed by society, prompted 20-year-old Auriane to buy her first corset: “I wanted to wear a corset like celebrities like ‘fit girls’ who say they have slimmer waists and because of it. But it didn’t work on me at all,” she says. Auriane wasn’t the only one who wanted to slim down with a corset. compression In the 19th century it was based entirely on the idea of voluntary body reduction by wearing a corset (23 hours a day, 7 days a week), getting tighter over months and years, a practice that was flagged as dangerous. Parisian. When the corset is worn permanently, it causes deformities in the ribs, liver, stomach, thorax and breathing difficulties, causes serious health problems and in some cases can lead to death, as the book deciphers. disadvantages of wearing a corset Françoise Deherly’s photo.
Confronted with these elements, Sophie Lemahieu Slim waisted condemns the social internalization of this perfect body model: “Even if we accept more curves like we saw with Kim Kardashian, her waist is still and always slim.”
There is also a rejected issue under the bra avatar: “Moreover, modeling the female silhouette today is a craft, representing constraints for the woman like the front corset” She underlines Sophie Lemahieu in the continuity of her reflection. “I think the bra will go away gradually, but it will take a long time. Indeed, companies have every interest in maintaining ‘that need’. The corset has never really gone away,” she observes. Here’s a talk about stopping the use of bras for comfort, evoking the NOBRA phenomenon that has grown during lockdowns: 7% of French women have stopped wearing bras. That percentage even reaches 18% among those under the age of 25, according to an IFOP survey.
Also read: ⋙ After jail, young French women drop their bras (to be exact?)
Corset: a vector of claims
Wearing a corset symbolized restraint in the past, but wearing it today conveys a completely different message: freedom to dress, independence, and a choice for the woman to do what she wants with her body. This is exactly what singer Billie Eillish claimed at the Met Gala 2022: Having a very tight-boned body and suffering for several hours, she wanted show how women have felt for centuries.
“The corset was a tool of man’s domination over women. It represented idleness, preventing them from moving. The message was clear: You are useless to society. This started to change in the First World War. They took on the roles. Sophie Lemahieu explained what “men” went through when they were sent to war, thus creating a new place in society. They have a role,” he says. For this reason, many feminists use the corset to convey messages of freedom of dress, in particular.. Among them is singer Madonna, who during her 1990 world tour “Blond Ambition” proudly wore a Jean-Paul Gaultier’s succulent satin and telescopic bustier neo-bustier.
Moreover, the fashion designer exclaims when he sees the pop star with his work: chest pierces the jacket: it is a combination of power and lust”, An article from the Grand Palais reports. This strength, and this power also lies in the courage to wear underwear (underwear) visibly. For example, many people nowadays wear a corset over a t-shirt.
The corset is a default sensuality
The corset is also associated with sensuality, eroticism and even sexuality. 20-year-old Ilona usually wears a corset in the evening. People’s looks sometimes bother him. This detrimental element to the young woman may also be desired by some, according to Sophie Lemahieu: “When a person wears a corset, they can choose to attract attention and control them, to take charge of their visibility. Strong. Female business leaders who sometimes do the same, wearing high-heeled shoes, who click to impose themselves. We find for It gives them character, charisma. They affect. To feel this is to buy a corset.he analyzes.
Also read: ⋙ 3 out of 4 women are scared on the street and want to defend themselves
As for Ilona, the young woman bought it because she felt classy and sexy: “Wearing a corset also sends the message that I can dress however I want and be sexy if I want, without restraint,” she says. “When I first got my corset, I told myself it was a symbol of incarceration. Now for me it’s just the freedom to dress,” she says with a smile.
corset for everyone
However, access to freedom of clothing is not only about women: men can demand it too, and they are not shying away from the corset trend. If there are fewer men than women wearing it, they still have plenty to wear. Lenny Kravitz was their representative at MET GALA 2022. The only man to wear a corset on the red carpet, his look was featured in all the picks for the best outfits of the night. LGBT+, BDSM and cabaret circles have also long embraced the corset. Florian, 21, is part of the LGBT+ community and wears his corset to take pictures on his Instagram account:
I don’t claim anything with my corsets. I just find it stylish and I love the way it gives my body, it’s slimming. Also, in my opinion, the corset is more beautiful on the male body than on the female body. Frankly, we are reinterpreting this garment, reclaiming it, not just stealing it from the women’s wardrobe. I also think it’s easier for an LGBT person to wear these as we have less issues with our masculinity. I’ve never seen straight men wear them until now.
Like Lenny Kravitz, Mark Pullin, known as Mr. Pearl, is a corset-wearing male figure. He also became a corset maker for Haute Couture houses. A true addict of this garment is part of the movement. compression mentioned above. His execution was so extreme that today the man with the world’s thinnest waist: 46 cm from originally 78 cm.
Is the corset a unisex garment soon?
If women and men wear corsets more and more because of this new trend brought by pop culture and TV series, Will this iconic piece become a regular unisex garment? “It’s unlikely,” replies Sophie Lemahieu. “If circles have embraced the corset, that’s not the case for the majority of men yet. I think it will continue to be a factor of argument for some minorities, such as queers. Especially as we move forward. Over time, more fashion moves towards more comfort.” progresses, which does not fit the definition of corset. Moreover, all the clothes that have become unisex came from the men’s wardrobe.” Therefore, if everyone is to wear the corset, there is still a long way to go.
Therefore, the corset is a garment that evokes an infinite number of meanings and issues. : lust, freedom, restraint, assertion, pain, sex, asexuality, belonging to a group, popularity, aesthetics, power… and making it available through it. If the corset has slipped into our wardrobe unnoticed, it may be intent on staying there…
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