The powerful and majestic corset is undoubtedly always the centre of attention when worn for the purpose of performance.
Here at Vollers Corsets, over the years we have built up a good relationship with some of the best performers across the burlesque, showgirl and cabaret industries. If you’re interested in meeting some of our favourites, discover their secrets in our little black book of burlesque.
As the corset is such a powerful tool in performance, we caught up with burlesque performer Lady Wildflower to uncover her best advice when it comes to wearing a corset for stage performance.
“We all have different body types and proportions so it's important to find a style and fit that works with your shape. Also, like shoes, it takes a while to ‘wear them in’, so don't worry if you find a new corset uncomfortable at first.”
“Another big tip from me would be to try a zip fastening corset. A zip reduces so much of the anxiety that comes with stripping out of a corset as it removes the chance of those pesky busks getting stuck! So, if you don't intend to tightlace, a zip is a stripteaser's best friend.”
Top tip 1: Invest in a really good quality, well-made corset and make sure you are fitted for it in store - if you can afford custom-made, even better!
Top tip 2: A good corset is like a good pair of shoes - so much more comfortable and so much easier to dance in when they fit properly.
Related: Discover Lady Wildflower in our book of burlesque
Corsets for performance & corsets for editorial
Sarah Lou of showgirl troupe The Folly Mixtures shared with us her thoughts on the difference between corsets for stage and corsets for a photoshoot.
“I find it's very different wearing a corset onstage to say in a photoshoot. Our acts in The Folly Mixtures are quite dance based and it can be quite restricting to your movement wearing a corset with boning in it, as close to closed at the back as possible! Whereas, in a photoshoot, you don't mind if you can't breathe for a few minutes as you are so pleased with how teeny tiny your waist is looking.”
Corsets and group routines vs. solo routines
“In our group routines, we often have zips added to our corsets, so they can be removed quickly and in sync with each other and the routine. When performing solo acts, you have more freedom to unlace a corset. My advice would be to allow enough music in your act and take your time."
"It is much more attractive to tease your audience and show them exactly how you are removing this fabulous piece of costume, than to be rushing and fumbling about with the ties at the back! Lean forward to create a nice line with the body, give them a cheeky wink and just enjoy having their full attention.”
Related: Discover The Folly Mixtures in our book of burlesque
Burlesque and trapeze artist Janet Fischietto shares with us her thoughts on corsets as part of performance costume.
“The corset has many different uses, as lingerie under a dress to shape the body like the old Hollywood divas, or to be a visible part of the costume. I usually choose this second option.”
“For my body shape I like wearing underbust corsets, which gives more support if you have small size breasts like me. Fortunately I have a moldable and small waist so I don't need a lot or a daily training to feel confident in a corset. The real training consists is being able to take it off on stage. You have to be comfortable and fluid with your movements. A corset has the magic to shape your body in a wonderful way, but you have to be patient with it. Get used to it and choose the right one.”
Our favourite corsets for performance
Corsets have a very powerful way of telling a story. Discover our favourite styles to inspire and enhance a stage performance.
Our theatrical, Halloween red brocade corset is an overbust corset featuring flexible detailing around the bust, as well as a striking red and black brocade pattern which can add drama and interest to any performance.
Our Satire overbust corset features a deep plunge bust line and a side zip fastening with hold up to G-Force 4, making it perfect for a burlesque show routine.
Perfect for pairing with a full statement skirt or simply with suspenders, our Toxic overbust corset features shoulder straps to give more complete bust coverage and more support during high activity performance.
The visuals of performance are hugely important, especially during a striptease whereby the suspense is built and all eyes are on the performer. Our Libby overbust corset is a traditional vintage style corset featuring delicate lace and a striking red body, perfect for maintaining a mesmerised audience’s gaze.
Which corset is your favourite?
Do you have any performance tips to share?
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