“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. “~Mark Twain
Awesome new pictures every Thursdays featuring my
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New things are in the works people!! Bigger & better
things are coming.
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There will be more wonderful things coming for you guys. Keep the dream alive!!
“Only men who are not interested in women are interested in women’s clothes. Men who like women never notice what they wear.”~Anatole France
A corset is a garment worn to hold and shape the torso into a
desired shape for aesthetic or medical purposes (either for the duration
of wearing it, or with a more lasting effect). Both men and women are
known to wear corsets, though women are more common wearers.
In recent years, the term “corset” has also been borrowed by the fashion
industry to refer to tops which, to varying degrees, mimic the look of
traditional corsets without actually acting as one. While these modern
corsets and corset tops often feature lacing and/or boning and generally
mimic a historical style of corsets, they have very little if any effect
on the shape of the wearer’s body. Genuine corsets are usually made by
a corsetmaker and should be fitted to the individual wearer.
The word corset is derived from the Old French word corps, the diminutive of
body, which itself derives from corpus – Latin for body. The craft of corset construction
is known as corsetry, as is the general wearing of them. (The word corsetry is
sometimes also used as a collective plural form of corset.) Someone who makes
corsets is a corsetier or corsetière (French terms for a man and for a woman,
respectively), or sometimes simply a corsetmaker. The word corset came into general
use in the English language in 1785. The word was used in The Ladies Magazine
to describe a “quilted waistcoat” called un corset by the French. The word was used
to differentiate the lighter corset from the heavier stays of the period.
The most common and well-known use of corsets is to slim the
body and make it conform to a fashionable silhouette. For women
this most frequently emphasizes a curvy figure, by reducing
the waist, and thereby exaggerating the bust and hips. However,
in some periods, corsets have been worn to achieve a tubular
straight-up-and-down shape, which involves minimizing the bust and hips.
For men, corsets are more customarily used to slim the figure. However,
there was a period from around 1820 to 1835 when a wasp-waisted figure
(a small, nipped-in look to the waist) was also desirable for men; this
was sometimes achieved by wearing a corset.
An overbust corset encloses the torso, extending from just under the arms
to the hips. An underbust corset begins just under the breasts and extends down
to the hips. Some corsets extend over the hips and, in very rare instances, reach the knees.
A shorter kind of corset, which covers the waist area (from low on the ribs to just
above the hips), is called a waist cincher. A corset may also include garters to hold up
stockings (alternatively a separate garter belt may be worn for that).
Normally a corset supports the visible dress, and
spreads the pressure from large dresses, such as the
crinoline and bustle. Sometimes a corset cover is used to
protect outer clothes from the corset and to smooth the lines
of the corset. The original corset cover was worn under the
corset to provide a layer between it and the body. Corsets
were not worn next to the skin, possibly due to difficulties
with laundering these items during the 19th century, as they
had steel boning and metal eyelets which would rust. The
corset cover would be in the form of a light chemise,
made from cotton lawn or silk.
People with spinal problems such as scoliosis or with internal injuries may be fitted
with a form of corset in order to immobilize and protect the torso. Andy Warhol was shot
in 1968 and never fully recovered, and wore a corset for the rest of his life.
Aside from fashion and medical uses, corsets are also used
in sexual fetishism, most notably in BDSM activities. In BDSM, a
submissive can be forced to wear a corset which would be laced
very tight and give some degree of restriction to the wearer. A dominant
can also wear a corset, often black, but for entirely different reasons,
such as aesthetics, and to achieve a severe, armored, “unbending”,
commanding appearance. A very common fetish costume for
women is the dominatrix costume. Usually it consists of mostly
dark or even black clothing. The woman usually wears a corset or
bustier and stockings with high-heeled footwear. High boots
are quite common as they enhance the woman’s domination.
Women in dominatrix costumes usually carry an accessory such
as a whip or a riding crop. A specially designed corset, in which
the breasts and vulva are left exposed can be worn during.
vanilla sex or BDSM activities.
Corsets are typically constructed of a flexible material (like cloth,
particularly coutil, or leather) stiffened with boning (also called ribs or stays) inserted
into channels in the cloth or leather. In the 19th century, bones of elephant, moose,
and whale were favored for the boning. Plastic is now the most commonly
used material for lightweight corsets and the majority of poor quality corsets,
whereas spring or spiral steel is preferred for stronger corsets and generally the
better quality corset too. Other materials used for boning include ivory, wood,
and cane. (By contrast, a girdle is usually made of elasticized fabric,
Corsets are held together by lacing, usually (though
not always) at the back. Tightening or loosening the lacing
produces corresponding changes in the firmness of the corset.
Depending on the desired effect and time period, corsets can be
laced from the top down, from the bottom up, or both up from the
bottom and down from the top, using two laces that meet in the
middle. It is difficult—although not impossible—for a back-laced
corset-wearer to do his or her own lacing. In the Victorian
heyday of corsets, a well-to-do woman’s corset laces would
be tightened by her maid, and a gentleman’s by his valet.
However, Victorian corsets also had a buttoned or
hooked front opening called a busk. If the corset was
worn loosely, it was possible to leave the lacing as
adjusted and take the corset on and off using the front
opening (if the corset is worn snugly, this method will
damage the busk if the lacing is not significantly
loosened beforehand). Self-lacing is also almost impossible
with tightlacing, which strives for the utmost possible reduction
of the waist. Modern tightlacers, lacking servants,
are usually laced by spouses and partners.
By wearing a tightly-laced corset for extended periods, known
as tightlacing, men and women can learn to tolerate extreme waist constriction
and eventually reduce their natural waist size. Tightlacers dream of 16 inches (41 cm)
and 17 inches (43 cm) waists, but most are satisfied with anything under
20 inches (51 cm). Some went so far that they could only breathe with the top part of their
lungs. This caused the bottom part of their lungs to fill with mucus, symtoms of this
include a slight but persistant cough and heavy breathing causing a heaving
appearance of the bosom. Until 1998, the Guinness Book of World Records
listed Ethel Granger as having the smallest waist on record at 13 inches (33 cm).
After 1998, the category changed to “smallest waist on a living person”
and Cathie Jung took the title with a 15 inches (38 cm) waist. Other women,
such as Polaire, also have achieved such reductions
(14 inches (36 cm) in her case).
However, these are extreme cases. Corsets were and are still usually
designed for support, with freedom of body movement, an important
consideration in their design. Present day corset-wearers usually tighten
the corset just enough to reduce their waists by 2 inches (5.1 cm) to
4 inches (10 cm); it is very difficult for a slender woman to achieve
as much as 6 inches (15 cm), although larger women can do so more easily.
In the past, a woman’s corset was usually worn over a chemise, a sleeveless
low-necked gown made of washable material (usually cotton or linen). It absorbed
perspiration and kept the corset and the gown clean. In modern times, an
undershirt or corset liner may be worn.
Moderate lacing is not incompatible with vigorous activity.
Indeed, during the second half of the 19th century, when corset
wearing was common, there were sport corsets specifically designed
to wear while bicycling, playing tennis, or horseback riding,
as well as for maternity wear.
The corset has been erroneously attributed to Catherine de’ Medici, wife
of King Henry II of France. She enforced a ban on thick waists at court attendance
during the 1550s. For nearly 350 years, women’s primary means of support was
the corset, with laces and stays made of whalebone or metal. Other
researchers have found evidence of the
use of corsets in early Crete.
The corset has undergone many changes. The corset was
originally known as stays in the early 16th century. It was a
simple bodice with tabs at the waist, stiffened by horn, buckram,
and whalebone. The center front was further reinforced by a busk
made of ivory, wood, or metal. It was most often laced from
the back, and was, at first, a garment reserved for the aristocracy.
Stays took a different form in the 18th century, whalebone began to be
used more, and there was more boning used in the garment. The shape of the
stays changed as well. The stays were low and wide in the front, while in the
back they could reach as high as the upper shoulder. Stays could be strapless
or use shoulder straps. The straps of the stays were attached in
the back and tied at the front sides.
The purpose of 18th century stays was to support the bust, confer
the fashionable conical shape while drawing the shoulders back. At this
time, the eyelets were reinforced with stitches, and were not placed
across from one another, but staggered. This allowed the stays to be
spiral laced. One end of the stay lace is inserted and knotted in the
bottom eyelet, the other end is wound through the stays’ eyelets
and tightened on the top. Tight-lacing was not common in this
time period, and indulged in only by the very fashionable.
Stays were worn by women in all societal levels, from
ladies of the court to street vendors. At this time, there
were two other variants of stays, jumps, which were
looser stays with attached sleeves, like
a jacket, and corsets.
Corsets were originally quilted waistcoats, worn by French women
as an alternative to stiff corsets. They were only quilted linen, laced in the
front, and un-boned. This garment was meant to be worn on informal occasions,
while stays were worn for court dress. In the 1790s, stays fell out of fashion. This
development coincided with the French Revolution, and the adoption of neoclassical
styles of dress. Interestingly, it was the men, Dandies, who began to wear corsets.
The fashion persisted thorough the 1840s, though after 1850 men who wore corsets
claimed they needed them for “back pain”.
Stays went away in the late 18th century, but the corset remained.
Corsets in the early 19th century lengthened to the hip, the lower
tabs replaced by gussets at the hip. Room was made for the bust in
front with more gussets, and the back lowered. The shoulder straps
disappeared in the 1840s for normal wear.
In the 1820s, fashion changed again, with the waistline lowered back to
almost the natural position. Corsets began to be made with some
padding and boning. Corsets began to be worn by all classes of society.
Some women made their own, while others bought their corsets. Corsets
were one of the first mass produced garments for women. Corsets began to
be more heavily boned in the 1840s. By 1850, steel
boning became popular.
With the advent of metal eyelets, tight lacing became possible.
The position of the eyelets changed, they were now situated across
from one another at the back. The front was now fastened with a metal
busk in front. Corsets were mostly white. The corsets of the 1850s-1860s
were shorter than the corsets of the 19th century through 1840s. This
was because of a change in the silhouette of women’s fashion.
The 1850s and 60s emphasized the hoopskirt. After the 1860s,
when the hoop fell out of style, the corset became longer to
mold the abdomen, exposed by the new lines of the
princess or cuirass style.
During the Edwardian period, the straight front corset (also known as
the S-Curve corset) was introduced. This corset was straight in front, with a
pronounced curve at the back that forced the upper body forward, and
the derrière out. This style was worn from 1900-1908.
The corset reached its longest length in the early 20th century.
The longline corset at first reached from the bust down to the
upper thigh. There was also a style of longline corset that started
under the bust, and necessitated the wearing of a brassiere.
This style was meant to complement the new silhouette.
It was a boneless style, much closer to a modern
girdle than the traditional corset. The longline
style was abandoned during World War I.
The corset fell from fashion in the 1920s in Europe and North America,
replaced by girdles and elastic brassieres, but survived as an article of costume.
Originally an item of lingerie, the corset has become a popular item of outerwear in
the fetish, BDSM and goth subcultures. In the fetish and BDSM literature, there is often
much emphasis on tightlacing, and many corset
makers cater to the fetish market.
Outside the fetish community, living history re-enactors
and historic costume enthusiasts still wear corsets
according to their original purpose, to give the proper
shape to the figure when wearing historic fashions.
In this case, the corset is underwear rather than
outerwear. Skilled corset makers are available to
make reproductions of historic corset shapes,
or to design new styles.
There was a brief revival of the corset in the late 1940s and early
1950s, in the form of the waist cincher sometimes called a “waspie”. This
was used to give the hourglass figure dictated by Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’.
However, use of the waist cincher was restricted to haute couture, and mos
t women continued to use girdles. This revival was brief, as the New Look
gave way to a less dramatically-shaped silhouette.
Since the late 1980s, the corset has experienced periodic
revivals, which have usually originated in haute couture and
which have occasionally trickled through to mainstream fashion.
These revivals focus on the corset as an item of outerwear
rather than underwear. The strongest of these revivals
was seen in the Autumn 2001 fashion collections and
coincided with the release of the film Moulin Rouge!, the costumes
for which featured many corsets as characteristic of the era. Another
fashion movement which has renewed interest in the corset is the
“Steampunk” culture, which utilizes late-Victorian fashion
shapes in new ways. The look was popularized by the
costumes in the film “The Golden Compass.”
“Fashion is more usually a gentle progression of revisited ideas.”~Bruce Oldfield
In 2000 Fabrican patented an instant, sprayable, non-woven fabric.
Developed through a collaboration between Imperial College London and the
Royal College of Art, Fabrican technology has captured the imagination of designers,
industry and the public around the world. The technology has been developed for use
in household, industrial, personal and healthcare, decorative and fashion applications
using aerosol cans or spray-guns, and will soon be found in
products available everywhere.
The original idea of spray-on fabric came from Manel Torres’
work in the fashion industry. These photos capture the essence
of science and fashion in collaboration. Fabrican spray-on fabric
will liberate designers to create new and unique garments, offer a
carrier technology for delivery of fragrance or even medical active
substances, and allow the wearer to personalise their wardrobe
in infinite combinations. New textures and material characteristics are
a matter of adjusting chemistry. In addition to fashion, the technology is
opening new vistas, offering sprayable material for any application requiring a
fabric coating. The technology opens new vistas for personalised fashion,
allowing individual touches to be added to manufactured garments, or even impromptu
alterations. Garments could incorporate fragrances, active substances,
or conductive materials to interface with information technolgy.
After a decade of research, this futuristic
vision is taking shape.
Fabrican is a rare achievement in transforming a dream to practical realisation.
Through combination of clever exploitation of people’s immediate fascination with
the spray-on fabric, and Manel’s extraordinary ability to motivate multi-disciplinary
collaboration, Fabrican has brought interest and worldwide
- 1995 – 1997 Manel Torres conceives the idea for Spray-on Fabric whilst studying for his MA in Fashion Women’s Wear, Royal College of Art, London.
- 1998 – 2001 Manel Torres obtains his PhD for Spray-on Fabric at the Royal College of Art and has a patent filed for this technology. During his PhD research, his work was supervised by Dr Susannah Handley (Royal College of Art) and Professor Paul Luckham (Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London).
- 2003 Manel Torres establishes Fabrican Ltd. with Professor Paul Luckham.
Aware of the slow process of constructing garments, Manel investigated novel ways to speed up this process. Manel’s foresight and vision led him to think of developing a material that would almost magically fit the body like a second skin and at the same time have the appearance of clothing.
The original concept was to utilise Spray-on Fabric in the fashion industry. However, the technology has the potential to revolutionise and enhance numerous market areas.
Fabrican is focused on the research and development of Spray-on Fabric which can then be used across a number of market sectors. Fabrican’s mission is to develop prototype products, in collaboration with leading industrial partners, leading to commercial exploitation by the partner.
Our technology can be used across many industries, positively impacting the lives of millions of people as well as the environment.
Fabrican Ltd. is a company exploiting inter-disciplinary research which links the subjects of science and design.
Our team is dedicated to meeting the needs of consumers with creative ideas and innovative products, through the development of new applications for Spray-on Fabric technology.
Our novel concepts are enlightening major worldwide manufacturers as to the huge potential which exists, through the successful branding of a product range.
Our underlying ethos is to produce concept products which are market leaders, through scientific research and development for future markets.
Fabrican in Action
In the science lab
On the Runway
Couture in a Can
I still can’t tell yet if it would be a good investment as a designer or a huge waste of money, time, & effort. LoL Who wears that out? Gaga? That’s it?!?
“About half my designs are controlled fantasy, 15 percent are total madness and the rest are bread-and-butter designs.”~Manolo Blahnik
These are all my sample pieces. If you need something made in a specific size. Feel free to e-mail us, even if we’re sold out of one style we are more than happy to replicate another piece in the same likeness.** The Picture will take you to our shop page.
Don’t do your homework off my blog. Shop!! Thanks!
**All pieces are handmade, therefore not guaranteeing the same product each time. **
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on
March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the
history of the city of New York and resulted in the fourth highest
loss of life from an industrial accident in U.S. history. The fire
caused the deaths of 146 garment workers, who either died
from the fire or jumped to their deaths. Most of the victims were
recent immigrant Jewish women aged sixteen to twenty-three.
Many of the workers could not escape the burning building because the
managers had locked the doors to the stairwells and exits. People jumped from
the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors. The fire led to legislation requiring improved
factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union,
which fought for better working conditions for sweatshop workers. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory was
located in the Asch Building, now known as the Brown Building of Science, a New York University facility.
It has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and
a New York City landmark.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory occupied the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors
of the Asch Building. Under the ownership of Max Blanck and Isaac Harris,
the factory produced women’s blouses, known as “shirtwaists.” The factory normally
employed about 500 workers, mostly young immigrant women, who worked nine
hours a day on weekdays plus seven hours on Saturdays.
On the afternoon of Saturday, March 25, 1911, as the workday was ending, a fire
flared up in a scrap bin under one of the cutters’ tables on the eighth floor.Both owners of the
factory were in attendance and had invited their children to the factory on that afternoon.
The Fire Marshal concluded that the likely cause of the fire was the disposal of an
unextinguished match or cigarette butt in the scrap bin. Although smoking was banned in the
factory, cutters were known to sneak cigarettes, exhaling the smoke through their lapels
to avoid detection. A New York Times article suggested that the fire may have been
started by the engines running the sewing machines, while The Insurance Monitor, a leading
industry journal, suggested that the epidemic of fires among shirtwaist manufacturers
was “fairly saturated with moral hazard.” No one suggested arson.
A bookkeeper on the eighth floor was able to warn employees on the
tenth floor via telephone, but there was no audible alarm and no way
to contact staff on the ninth floor. According to survivor
Yetta Lubitz, the first warning of the fire on the ninth
floor arrived at the same time as the fire itself.
The floor had a number of exits – two freight elevators, a
fire escape, and stairways down to Greene Street and
Washington Square – but flames prevented workers from
descending the Greene Street stairway and the door to the Washington Square
stairway was locked to prevent theft and the foreman who held the
key had escaped by another route.
Dozens of employees escaped the fire by going up the Greene Street
stairway to the roof. Other survivors were able to jam themselves into the elevators
while they continued to operate. Within three minutes, the Greene Street stairway
became unusable in both directions. Terrified employees crowded
onto the single exterior fire escape, a flimsy and poorly-anchored iron structure
which may have been broken before the fire. It soon twisted and collapsed from the
heat and overload, spilling victims to their deaths onto the concrete pavement
nearly a hundred feet below. Elevator operators Joseph Zito
and Gaspar Mortillalo saved many lives by traveling three times up
to the ninth floor for passengers, but Mortillalo was eventually forced
to give up when the rails of his elevator buckled under the heat. Some victims pried
the elevator doors open and jumped down the empty shaft. The weight of these
bodies made it impossible for Zito to make another attempt.
As a large crowd of bystanders gathered on the street, sixty-two people
died by jumping or falling from the ninth floor. Louis Waldman, later a
New York Socialist state assemblyman, described the scene years later:
One Saturday afternoon in March of that year — March 25, to be precise — I was sitting at one of the reading tables in the old Astor Library… It was a raw, unpleasant day and the comfortable reading room seemed a delightful place to spend the remaining few hours until the library closed. I was deeply engrossed in my book when I became aware of fire engines racing past the building. By this time I was sufficiently Americanized to be fascinated by the sound of fire engines. Along with several others in the library, I ran out to see what was happening, and followed crowds of people to the scene of the fire. A few blocks away, the Asch Building at the corner of Washington Place and Greene Street was ablaze. When we arrived at the scene, the police had thrown up a cordon around the area and the firemen were helplessly fighting the blaze. The eighth, ninth, and tenth stories of the building were now an enormous roaring cornice of flames.
Word had spread through the East Side, by some magic of terror, that the plant of the Triangle Waist Company was on fire and that several hundred workers were trapped. Horrified and helpless, the crowds — I among them — looked up at the burning building, saw girl after girl appear at the reddened windows, pause for a terrified moment, and then leap to the pavement below, to land as mangled, bloody pulp. This went on for what seemed a ghastly eternity. Occasionally a girl who had hesitated too long was licked by pursuing flames and, screaming with clothing and hair ablaze, plunged like a living torch to the street. Life nets held by the firemen were torn by the impact of the falling bodies.
The emotions of the crowd were indescribable. Women were hysterical, scores fainted; men wept as, in paroxysms of frenzy, they hurled themselves against the police lines.
The remainder waited until smoke and fire overcame them. The fire
department arrived quickly but was unable to stop the flames,
as there were no ladders available that could reach beyond
the sixth floor. The fallen bodies and falling victims also
made it difficult for the fire department
to reach the building. Bodies of the
victims being placed in coffins
on the sidewalk.
Although early references of the death toll ranged from 141 to 148, almost all modern
references agree that 146 people died as a result of the fire. Six victims remained
unidentified until 2011. Most victims died of burns, asphyxiation,
blunt impact injuries, or a combination of the three. Almost thirty
of the victims were men. The first person to jump was a man, and another man
was seen kissing a young woman at the window before they
both jumped to their deaths.
Twenty-two victims of the fire were buried by the
Hebrew Free Burial Association in a special section at Mount
Richmond Cemetery. In some instances, their tombstones refer to the fire.
Another six victims were buried in the Cemetery of the Evergreens in
Brooklyn. Originally interred elsewhere on the grounds, their
remains now lie underneath a monument to the tragedy,
a large marble slab featuring a kneeling woman.
Six of those victims were identified in February 2011.
The company’s owners, Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, had fled to the building’s roof
when the fire began and survived. They were later put on trial, at which Max Steuer, counsel for
the defendants, managed to destroy the credibility of one of the survivors, Kate Alterman,
by asking her to repeat her testimony a number of times — which she did without altering
key phrases that Steuer believed were perfected before trial. Steuer argued to the jury that
Alterman and probably other witnesses had memorized their statements and might even
have been told what to say by the prosecutors. The defense also stressed that the
prosecution had failed to prove that the owners knew the exit doors were locked at the
time in question. The jury acquitted the owners. However, they lost a subsequent
civil suit in 1913 and plaintiffs won compensation in the amount of $75 per
deceased victim. The insurance company paid Blanck and Harris about
$60,000 more than the reported losses, or about $400 per casualty. In 1913, Blanck
was once again arrested for locking the door in his factory
during working hours. He was fined $20.
- American Experience: Triangle Fire (2011), documentary produced and directed by Jamila Wignot, narrated by Michael Murphy
- The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal (1979), directed by Mel Stuart, produced by Mel Brez and Ethel Brez
- Those Who Know Don’t Tell: The Ongoing Battle for Workers’ Health (1990), produced by Abby Ginzberg, narrated by Studs Terkel
- With These Hands (1950), directed by Jack Arnold
“Today, fashion is really about sensuality—how a woman feels on the inside. In the ’80s women used suits with exaggerated shoulders and waists to make a strong impression. Women are now more comfortable with themselves and their bodies—they no longer feel the need to hide behind their clothes.”~Donna Karan