Updated: Apr 9
SS21 ready-to-wear collections provided the perfect vaccine to loungewear...The corset is back—inhale deeply!
2020 saw many a crop top, and a quick Instagram scroll sees them worn by A-listers from Kendall Jenner to Bella Hadid. Dressed up or dressed down, they were frequently seen on both socially distanced streets, and have long been considered a summertime staple. The midriff exposing garment has now received a strong dose of virtuous medicine as we enter 2021, where corsetry and laced bodices are now in favor.
We now see the return of a softer more curvaceous silhouette, veering from the comfort of oversized sweaters to more structured garments.
Behold the corset—he antithesis of loungewear.
Last year will forever be remembered as the only year in history when you could show up to an interview and expect to be taken seriously in your sweatpants. Casual loungewear became a wardrobe staple overnight, and with the cancelling of events and outdoor activities, many across the globe have shed new light on the term dressing down.
With the loosening of restrictions on the horizon, designers are offering an extension of the crop top, complete with the frill and lace of a Bridgerton worthy ensemble!
Historically, corsets have been worn since the 1600s, but came to prominence in the beginning of the nineteenth century thanks to the Empire silhouette. The Empire silhouette gave way to a tightly cinched waist ubiquitous with the Victorian era, where we currently draw our modern day reference.
Socially, corsets have long been criticized, and have been a symbol of female oppression. Jean Paul Gaultier, and Thierry Mugler breathed new life to the garment a century later as they styled Madonna and Linda Evangelista in their designs, a precursor to our current trend.
“We’re seeing a lot of 90’s/00s/Y2K trends coming back around and a lot of re-interpretations of the corset with direct nods and references to Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, etc.…
Orseund Iris - a contemporary brand geared towards ig-ers and millennials produced a corseted style crop top to be worn as well as an underbust. “
Explains Tennesha Vanterpool, a freelance brand strategist and consultant based in London.
Following the success of Bridgerton, the American Regency drama, corsets have already been seen by a host of different designers this season. Following the success of the series, a 123% increase in corset related content has been reported by Lyst.
As unlikely as a waltz with the Duke of Hastings may seem during a Pandemic; Ellen Mirojnick’s costuming for Bridgerton has provided ample nourishment for the imagination and was allegedly inspired by the creations of Mr. Pearl, one of fashion’s most reputable corsetiers.
V. Kohoutová (@valer_himiko) is another advocate for the trend. A part time activist and drag queen of Czech origin, she recently entangled herself in a series of thin leather belts to accentuate the cinch provided by a waist hugging corset.
Balmain and Moschino eloquently provide prime examples on the runway this season…not to mention a particularly striking corset created by Christopher John Rogers in deep cerulean. The reprisal of the corset can be seen as a staunch adversary to the casual attire that has overwhelmed 2020.
“It’s definitely marketable as a trend — although many people are cooped up inside, many more are approaching more directional aesthetics when it comes to their wardrobes, especially after a year of wearing tracksuits and house clothes.” Tennesha continues.
Potentially the starring role of any summer outfit, it can be styled in a multitude of ways.
Wear it with a skirt, wide legged trousers, or pair it with a men’s shirt to add panache to any of your summer looks. For the more daring, tuck it into a pair of jeans, or even wear it over your favorite blouse.
The success of this trend lies in the versatility. The range of styles seen this season on the runway indicate that corsets are a non-negotiable addition to your increasingly more nostalgic spring/summer wardrobe—lace up!