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Rise of Corsets in the Burlesque World

The corset has become an iconic fashion symbol, which has been seen in a number of different communities lately. It has been prominently featured in the world of Burlesque, and for good reason. The burlesque corset is a fashionable way for many women to make a statement with how they dress. As a result, it has been considered by mainstream society to be provocative and alluring at the same time. It is no surprise then that many in the burlesque fashion community enjoy wearing these outfits. The corset has undergone many transformations over the years, but it has recently found a home here in the underworld. First, you might be wondering how the corset became to acquire such a reputation to begin with in Western society. Over a century ago, the corset actually maintained a place among high society. It was once used strictly as an undergarment, since it allowed women (especially pinup models) the chance to slim down their frame. It provided women with a classic hourglass look that they could maintain under a dress. It wasn’t until decades later that the corset would ever be worn as a top on its own. This wasn’t seen until the 20th century, when a few provocative photo shoots began emphasizing this look. However, it didn’t take long for this style to take off once people did see these shoots. It was the focal point of many social discussions about whether it was appropriate to wear this type of clothing. Some people naturally became interested in seeing this new look, but it was firmly challenged by moralistic groups in the country. Not surprisingly, the corset became a symbol for many different people wanting to change up societal conventions. The era of the pinup girl brought in models like Bettie Paige, who were able to challenge the status quo opinion about how these outfits should be worn. The burlesque community has readily adopted the corset, in large part because it was so symbolic for many people. It represented a major step forward for women’s rights activists, who felt that they should be able to wear these kinds of outfits without public scrutiny. It also simply became a symbol for sexual liberation as well, since many readily saw the sensuality that the corset offered many women. The burlesque community continues to laud the importance of the corset, as well as the sheer sense of fashion that it offers. This is why you will see the corset adopted in to many different styles, including both burlesque dance and bondage exhibitions. Over the past few decades, the burlesque corset itself has undergone quite a few changes as well. Some of these corset models continue to be worn on their own as bustiers. Some fashion designers have even begun to usher in a revival of corsets worn under the clothes, as they were a century ago. You can often see these designs incorporated in to steam punk themed burlesque shows, since they emphasize Victorian era fashion sensibilities.

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Pinup Girls Wear Corsets (from time to time)

A pin up girl is a female model who is photographed in an eye pleasing sensual pose and displayed on mass produced calendars, postcards, posters, magazines, or newspapers. Pinup girls and corsets seem to go hand in hand and are usually displayed in these sensual and sexy photographs. It started towards the end of the 19th century, female actresses and female burlesque performers promoted themselves with steamy photographic advertisement and displayed these sexy photographs on the walls of live entertainment theaters, smoking rooms, and elegant mens social bars. These up and rising females who were labeled as a pin-up girls were considered to be sex symbols and were fantasized by men of all ages. The most popular pin-up girl of all time was Betty Grable who was most appreciated during World War II by the men in the United States military. Many of the pin up girls would dress up in camouflage military style outfits and combat boots. You could still see some of the pin up girls wearing sexy corsets and slinky heels to pose for their loving fans. There was a high demand for so many magazine photographs that between 1942-1946 over nine million copies of magazines were sent to the American troops free of charge. There were at least twenty popular pin up girls from the 1920’s which include Josephine Baker, Vilma Banky, Camille Clifford, Bebe Daniels, Louise Brooks, Clara Bow, Billie Dove, Colleen Moore, Nita Naldi, Pola Negri, Alice White, Lilyan Tashman, and Gloria Swanson. There were at least twenty memorable pin up girls from the 1930’s. Let’s not forget about some of these names, Joan Blondell, Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy, Ginger Rogers, Peggy Shannon, Thelma Todd, Toby Wing, Gypsy Rose Lee, Carol Lombard, and May West. There were more than thirty popular pin up girls from the 1940’s are Bette Davis, Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, Ava Gardner, Jane Greer, Susan Hayward, Rita Hayworth, Lena Horne, Candy Jones, Ann Miller, Jane Russell, Marie Wilson, June Haver, Veronica Lake, and Shelley Winters. Let’s take a look at the 1950’s, the list is so long it includes approximately fourty pin up girls. Some of the lovely ladies include Carroll Baker, Candy Barr, Mara Corday, Dagmar, Diana Dors, Myrna Hansen, Jennie Lee, Sophia Loren, Cleo Moore, Kim Novak, Bettie Page, Sabrina, Elizabeth Taylor. Why pin up girls and corsets in most of the photographs? Corsets are designed to hold the make the body look slimmer and give a look of particular body frame and silhouette. It helps to emphasize a curvy sexy body figure. It also helps to exaggerate the hips and small or large bust. It gives lift to the breasts and gives them a pushed up look. Corsets are beautifully created with lace, metal eyelets, silk and satin. Our modern day culture is very fashion oriented and corset fashion still remains popular from pin up girls to the girl next door. They are worn at home behind closed doors in the bedroom. It is also

Posted in Pinup Corsets