Despite its controversial past, the corset has become a fashion staple over the last few decades. No longer a restricting undergarment, today’s reiterations are more wearable than ever and can be styled in a multitude of ways (without having to gasp for air).
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As a recognisable house signature, corsets have been reinterpreted many times by Alexander McQueen, but for Spring Summer 2021, the brand’s creative director, Sarah Burton, looked to reimagine the waist-cinching silhouette by showcasing the softer, more romantic side of the garment while emphasising its bare bones and detailed construction.
Forming the basis of everything from mid-20th century line dresses with exploding asymmetric skirts to knitwear in a gentle colour palette of ivory, camomile and tea rose, Burton chose to scan a handful of corsets from the Alexander McQueen archive to provide surface detailing for certain pieces in the collection. The scanned corsets were first printed onto paper to refine the scale, then onto jersey bodices and polyfaille skirts. Archive tulle skirts were also scanned and repurposed as photographic prints for the collection.
Below, Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore got a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Alexander McQueen’s exquisite, digitally enhanced Spring Summer 2021 corsets.