In the world of fashion, trends and designs ebb and flow like the cycle of the tides.
Hot one day, cold the next and forgotten by the third.
Items that were once in demand and defined by the famous faces that draped themselves in them can, in the blink of a eye, go from the catwalk to the bargain bin.
We’ve all seen them, read about them, worn and treasured them.
And transferred them from our wardrobes into a bin liner. Or worse.
Yet fashions ‘wear today and gone tomorrow’ trend is what perpetuates the industry.
Keeping it virile, vigorous and strong. Red in both tooth and claw. Until tomorrow that is, when red will be so, well, last week. Because we’ll all be reading, talking and wearing black.
Without change, the fashion industry would stagnate.
To the casual observer however, this might not be the case when it comes to corsetry.
After all, the corset was the core component of every woman’s undergarment collection at the turn of the nineteenth century. With today’s corsets not looking too dissimilar to those that your Great Great Grandmother might once have worn.
It’s fashions great survivor.
And it was dominant. Just over a century ago over 7,000 women were employed as corset makers in Portsmouth alone.
Think about that for a moment. One City, seven thousand people. All engaged in making corsets. And this wasn’t a career choice for the genteel; a gentle pursuit taken over tea and polite conversation.
This was an industry. The demand for corsets was incessant. Day in, day out. Midnight oil would most definitely have burnt.
As demand grew, corsets developed their own myth and legend. One great old tale that has since attached itself to them was that they were designed to be worn so tightly that their wearers would often faint, such was the physical discomfort the corset caused them.
A nice story. But, for the most part, an apocryphal one.
Yes, women in corsets tended to faint. But their corset wouldn’t have been to blame. The cause of their light-headedness would almost certainly have been down to the excess weight and heat caused by the voluminous quantity of undergarments that she wore over the top of her corset.
It really was worn at the core. And you had to go through a lot of layers to get to it. Pity the poor gentleman on his wedding night who had to navigate his way through them, as uneducated and naive in the ways of the undergarment as he would have been in the ways of women themselves.
It was made to be functional and to remain forever unseen. And largely inaccessible.
Mysterious, hidden and unspoken.
Hardly qualities that lend themselves to anything that wants to last the course, to prevail and prosper.
Yet, for all of that, the corset has adapted and survived.
And, in doing so, it has emerged from the hidden depths from whence it lurked into the modern era as a desirable, bright and hugely coveted item of fashion.
One that is designed to be worn on the outside and to be seen, admired and talked about.
Not veiled in mystery and mentioned in embarrassed whispers. But as something to be celebrated.
And at Vollers, that is exactly how we regard our core product.
As an iconic garment that can be worn however and whenever you like. As traditional lingerie or as outerwear.
Fashion items that are contemporary, comfortable and elegant.
Fashion items that have endured.
And which demand to be worn, to be seen.
And to be talked about.
We’ll be telling you everything you’ll ever need to know about corsets, corsetry and lingerie on this blog over the coming weeks and months.
Because the corset has come out of the closet. And we want to share it with the world.