Time to embrace the sculpted corset trend

Time to embrace the sculpted corset trend

In the field of fashion, where trends are constantly evolving, the re-emergence of corsets as outerwear has reached new heights with the body sculpting corset trend. Originally designed to slim the waist and create an hourglass figure, corsets have gone from uncomfortable undergarments to bold fashion statements, especially with the latest spin on the sculpted version.

Evolution: From Victorian to Sculptural

Actor Alaya F wears a white sculpted leather corset by J Phoenix London (Photo: Instagram)
A model with a chrome-sculpted black leather corset from Mugler’s spring/summer 2024 collection (Photo: Instagram)

Once tucked away under tight-fitting, boning bodices, corsets are now a staple in the underwear-as-outerwear trend. The sculpted version, catapulted into the limelight by Pakistani designer Misha Japanwala in 2021, has gained traction globally. Designers and design houses such as Mugler and Alexander McQueen incorporated the harness trend into their Spring/Summer 2024 collections, cementing its place on the fashion scene. Indian celebrities, including actors Bhumi Pednekar and Alaya F, have also embraced the trend, adding their unique flair to sculpted corsets.

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Originating in Italy and introduced by Queen Catherine de Medici to France in the 1500s, the corset has undergone various transformations over the centuries. From puffed sleeves and straps in the 16th century to the hourglass silhouette in the mid-19th century, corsets have remained a fashion staple. In the 1970s, designers such as Thierry Mugler and Vivienne Westwood brought them back as outerwear, embracing them as symbols of personal freedom and empowerment.

Modern statements of power

Model Naomi Campbell in a silver open heart sculptured corset at the Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2024 show (Photo: Instagram)
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With its modern design and technological advances in fabric, the sculpted corset has shed its original delicate hand, emerging as a symbol of power. Designer Paras Baroliya notes, “A well-cut or molded corset accentuates and exaggerates a wearer’s curves, symbolizing self-expression and allowing for great versatility. It’s a break from the athleisure, loungewear and ensembles that have dominated fashion in recent years.”

Singer Katy Perry wore a custom gold dress with a corset bodice by Vivienne Westwood for King Charles III’s coronation concert earlier this year (Picture: Instagram)

Designer Lakshmi Babu points out that “corset sculpting, performing the same function as traditional corsets, incorporates modern technology to achieve the desired shape”.

How to mate

Actor Bhumi Pednekar in a burgundy sculpted leather corset by J Phoenix London (Photo: Instagram)

Fitted skirts are the ideal complement to the sculpted corset trend, which has gained popularity thanks to the likes of Italian fashion designer Schiaparelli, businesswoman Kim Kardashian and actress Zendaya. Stylist Isha Bhansali advises: “A covered skirt adds lightness to the look, balancing the stiffness of the top. Keep jewelry minimal, letting your sculpted body stand out. Consider pairing it with statement earrings or an arm stack for the perfect ensemble.”

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