Why I Make Corsets

Fashion changes constantly. It is a responsive art form, influenced by economics, politics, technology, and, most strongly, sex. For females, the basics of sexual attraction are variations of full hips, large breasts, and small waists. Nature does not distribute these ideal proportions with any sense of fairness. Genetics, time, and circumstance leave many of us more real than ideal.

This tyranny of the visual has created a marvelous device: the foundation garment. Against the onslaught of time, gravity, and carbohydrates, women gird themselves for the battle of the sexes. Girdles, push-up bras, & Spanx are the bright armors that shield us as we fight for the right to mate. Sometimes, mere spandex is no match for the forces that render us average. To compete with those splendid images of feminine perfection, we need body modification: steel, canvas, & engineering, brought together in the corset.

The Slippery Slope
I was trained to see corsets as a necessary part of costume, and Broadway costume houses provided a thorough training in corset making, with one difference. Theatrical corsets are work clothes. Ballerinas, circus acrobats, and opera singers are working hard with their bodies, and they cannot sacrifice function for fashion.

When I left New York and started making corsets for fashion and play, I was shocked at the cruel devices that were offered and accepted from ready to wear corset makers. I became a woman on a mission, vowing to keep people from corsets that used force instead of persuasion, causing pain and awkwardness. Along the way, I began to get the idea that corsets could be a part of any wardrobe, once they were stripped of their reputation for discomfort.

Well, What Are They, Then?
I think of my pieces as fashion rather than fetish. Being based on ideas that start out kinky just gives them a little more style. After all, a subversive undercurrent is what keeps fashion interesting. I like the idea of people responding to the beauty and elegance of a garment before they realize that it breaks one of their taboos.

I also love the idea of temporary beauty. I’m a fan of stretch waistbands, and cake. But I have another woman, who lives in my closet. She’s hourglass-shaped, removable, and much simpler to deal with than the high-maintenance body she replaces.

But Will I Like Them?
Since our corsets are made to order from your measurements, they’re going to feel nice and fit properly. There’s a range of colors, fabrics, and style options, so you can create the piece that’s guaranteed to make you happy. And because they lace, there’s a certain amount of adjustment to the fit. If you feel like slouching a little, you don’t have to lace all the way down. A well-made corset is more comfortable than the squeezing, binding strips of spandex and plastic that make up many foundation garments.

Still, it’s important to remember these are not gym clothes. Your corset will make you sit up straight, and you won’t be able to pack in the pasta while wearing one. In general, your corset will make you more aware of your body. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; moving with more awareness of your body imparts a certain grace. My goal is to give you a way to share that grace and beauty with the rest of the world.

Dorothy Jones

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