Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lingerie as Outerwear: How to Wear a Vintage Corset

The news has appeared in at least three major fashion outlets, so it must be true: London girls are wearing lingerie to go out clubbing. This is a trend I haven't personally witnessed, but then I don't get out as much as I used to.

Apparently, the ladies are following the example set by Rihanna and Lady Gaga, whose own redoubtable stylists are viralizing a look most recently manifested in the high fashion realm by John Galliano, who sent models out in their handwashables in his haute couture show for Dior in Fall 2009. Galliano, I reckon, was himself inspired in part by the lovely Dita von Teese, who channels Rita Hayworth, on the high road, and Gypsy Rose Lee on the low, and so on and so forth on back to Eve, for whom a mere fig leaf was coverage enough.

Anyway, lending evidence to the most recent outbreak of underwear, reporters say, is the recent sale of a $1,470 Bordelle corset out of Selfridges department store.

Which is fine if you have $1,470 to burn. What I advise, as ever, is forgoing the crowds and expense of retail shopping and, with the aid of an excellent tapemeasure and an accurate eye, have a look at online vintage sources to see what's on offer.

Above and below are a pair of vintage corsets that would do brilliantly as outerwear, especially if:

1) accompanied by a a chiffon or slightly stiff-textured yet transparent shawl wrapped several times around the shoulders
2) or even more vampily, a fur shrug
3) or a very lacy black bolero
4) try not to wear vintage lingerie with sequins, denim, leather or other clashy textures unless you're Rihanna or Gaga.

(corsets here and here on eBay).

(photo of Dior Haute Couture model by Monica Feudi/Gorunway.com, from Style.com)

1 comment:

  1. I love these corsets. Of course, it's not everybody who is daring enough to wear corsets out, but some outerwear gets to be amazingly daring anyway, paling corsets to demureness by comparison!! It's interesting however that people investing in an expensive corset won't want to hide it beneath other clothing - I guess their reasoning goes - once you have it.... why not flaunt it?