Since THE FACE declared, “Corsets are back! Back! BACK!” last November, the whimsical, waist-cinching undergarment has continued to inspire a roster of momentum-building, online-only corset brands. No longer an object of oppression, these modern iterations overt the male gaze. Now, they’re made by women, for women – unrooting the controversial silhouette from it’s 16th century connotation of restraint, instead reclaiming it as playful, form-celebrating outerwear.
With the internationalism of Instagram and an increased awareness to support small businesses – all ramped up by the pandemic – these five emerging designers are surfing social media sales with their figure-hugging creations. Join the wave and check them out below.
Understated elegance is the name of Lucy Doyle’s game. Her eponymous brand has become an internet sensation for those in the know, with her DM-to-order masterpieces tapped by THE FACE cover star Jorja Smith and model Sasha Kravash – and who can blame them? The minimal, skin tight bodies incorporate metal structuring to clip your bag onto, making for a slinky, sexy, fully-functional fit.
By day, Kristin Mallison works at a curtain customisation company, dressing windows with one-off drapery. By night (or whenever she has the time), the 29-year-old helms her titular brand, which constructs to-die-for corsets using the similar ornate, tapestry materials. Each piece draws from picturesque 18th century iconography, whether that be hyper-feminine imagery of rose gardens or ladies basking in the sunshine. Check her page for more contemporary reinterpretations of a time gone by.
all is a gentle spring
Launched in 2018 by Isabelle Hellyer, all is a gentle spring’s made-to-order, fully-boned pastoral and tartan corsets have been adorned by Lu, Charli XCX and Rowan Blanchard. With design cues from ’80s bodybuilders, runic alphabets and 17th and 18th period dress, the Australian clothing label wants its wearers to have fantastical, otherworldly fun. After all, today’s corsets aren’t meant to be hidden under one’s clothes – they’re here to be seen.
The Label Rae
The Label Rae has made their name from upcycling the finest earth-toned corsets in the game. Currently on their fourth drop, collections have varied from vintage butterfly-stitched, torso-accentuating creations, to grittier, abstract cityscapes – all of which have sold out in a matter of days. The next capsule is set to release this Saturday, so press follow if you don’t want to miss the coveted, repurposed garms.
Get your freak on with Immoral London’s scroll-stopping, kitsch nightmare pieces. The brain child of Aimee Belle Johnson, the young fashion graduate is making a name for herself plastering Frankenstein, Beetle Juice and spooky Little Bo Peep references onto sexy bustiers. Finished with elaborate silk-tie trimmings, dangly pearl droppings and ruffled, billowing sleeves, bookmark the label’s extravagant garments for your post vaccine debut.