Sexy Westwood – Corsets

Vivienne-Westwood Corset Suzie-Bick Denise-Lewis sexy

I thought that I would do some posts on the sexier side of Vivienne’s designs.
From my own personal collection of paper & magazine cuttings, this week the focus is on the corset.
Making its first appearance in the Harris Tweed collection AW 1987-8, the Stature of Liberty, as the corset was named, has been a continuous feature in Vivienne’s designs to this day.
Based on the 18th Century corset which Vivienne reclaimed & reinvented; simply constructed, using fake plastic whalebone & an elasticated back panel, this item has been made in a multitude of different fabrics, starting with velvet, satin & lace, but over the years also using drapes, leather, wool & a multitude of different printed fabrics, the most famous of which was the ‘Shepherd Watching a Sleeping Shepherdess’ print, reproduced from the 1743 Rococo painting by Francois Boucher & first shown in the Portrait collection AW 1990-91.

Vivienne-Westwood Corset Suzie-Bick Denise-Lewis

Through its history, different versions of the corset have appeared. A short bra type & a strapless version were both shown in the Pagan V SS 1990 collection & in the Vive le Cocotte AW 1995-96 collection, Vivienne took the feminine hourglass shape to the extreme with a padded bust version, worn with a matching bustle over the female derriere.
The corset has also been incorporated into other garments such as knitwear & a host of dresses & ballgowns.
Valerie Steele, the American fashion historian wrote in her book The Corset, A Cultural History: ‘Once women no longer felt that they had to wear corsets, when the corset itself was stigmatized; some women consciously chose to wear them. Now however, the corset was worn openly, as fashionable outerwear, rather than underwear. Long disparaged as a symbol of female oppression, the corset began to be reconceived as a symbol of female sexual empowerment’
Bring it on.

Vivienne-Westwood Corset Helena-Barquilla

Above: Model Helena Baraquilla

Vivienne-Westwood Corset Sara-Stockbridge Max-Mag

Above & below: Model Sara Stockbridge

Vivienne-Westwood Corset Sara-Stockbridge Max-Mag

Below: Tizer Bailey & Linda Evangelista

Vivienne-Westwood Corset Tizer-Bailey Nadia-Alderman Linda-Evangelista

Below:Model unknown

Vivienne-Westwood Corset

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2 thoughts on “Sexy Westwood – Corsets

  1. Another great feature thanks Ben.Them were the days all dressed up in Westwood to go clubbing smoking,drinking laughing.Good times.x x

  2. Hi Ben. It would be great on the WORLD END site to show some of Vivienne’s shows that can’t bee seen anywhere.
    I would so love to see the full PORTRAIT AW90 collection as I can not find this anywhere. Also the amazing ALWAYS ON CAMERA AW92
    Your website would be a great platform for all the collections
    Many thanks for the info you kindly post and the videos you have made

    Regards

    Simon

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