The trend for corset cuts and waist flattering peplums highlights a return to the hourglass shape. Is it a sign of curvier times to come?
Save for the ladies of Mad Men, it’s been a while since the hourglass figure had a fashion moment. Recent runways were loaded with corset cuts and elegant peplum flaring at the waist – so when it comes to tips on spring’s chicest silhouette, it seems it’s all in the hips.
The 1980s were the last time peplum and corset fashion styles were popular, then they were accompanied by exaggerated shoulders, leg of mutton sleeves and most regrettably, giant bows (fortunately 2012’s designers have modernized the waisted looks, pairing them with sleek pencil skirts and skinny pants to maximize their midrift-minimizing magic).
Vivienne Westwood’s Portrait Collection A/W 90-91 corsets were a catwalk expression of punk sexuality.
Before becoming a mass fashion trend, Vivienne Westwood was the first designer of the twentieth century to reinvent the corset in the mid-1970s. One of her most important fashion ideas, they quickly become a signature theme in her work. Modeled from those of the eighteenth century, her corsets flattened and raised the bosom, giving women a unique sense of power and glamor.
Madonna famously wore Gaultier’s corsets during her world-tour in 1990.
Jean Paul Gaultier followed in Westwood’s footsteps designing 1950s inspired corsets in homage to those his beloved grandmother wore. Gaultier’s fetishtistic corsets became iconic when Madonna wore them during her Blond Ambition world-tour in 1990. According to fashion historian Valerie Steele, “No longer the symbol of women’s oppression, the corset had become the symbol of sexual empowerment.”
Dolce & Gabanna’s romantic A/W 2012 collection cemented the trend for corset detailing to continue into the Fall.