The Muybridge post was just an excuse to introduce some of my favorite Victorian corset photos with their gorgeous gowns. These are wearable art, though they must have weighed 25 pounds and been a misery in hot weather. They dragged the floor, so mice could have run up inside them, and probably did. When you look at the way these women's bodies have been sculpted, you can imagine the price of it, the eternal confining prison carried around all day. Many women even wore their corsets at night to keep their waists from expanding. No one asked their husbands what they thought of this.
This woman in particular has incredible reduction, her full and very molded bosom tapering to an impossibly tiny waist. She has a child, so somehow-or-other her husband must have fought his way through all that armour.
The detail on this gown makes me swoon. And the train! I don't know how women carried it off, but they did. The hair alone must have weighed down the head considerably, and taken forever to pin up.
A nice bit of corset porn, with the extreme reduction clearly visible. With the widespread ignorance of sexual matters during the Victorian era, men must have thought women's bodies really looked like this. Or else they didn't look.
Miss Lettice Fairfax. I'm not sure who she was, or if she was really named for a leafy green vegetable. But I've got a million of these. Every once in a while I have to trot just a few of them out.
And OH how I love corset ads! I have a couple hundred of them squirreled away. They were one of my very first internet image collections. This one delights me because one woman is swooning over another woman's corset. It IS beautiful, isn't it? Torture? Probably.
And look at this! I've had this delightful Ball's Corsets ad (Revolution in Corsets) for over ten years, but it was a grainy little thing and impossible to see the detail. I found this much larger, clearer version just now. The victorious wearer of the Ball's corset has her foot on the puny excuses sold by the competition. Meantime, a herd of women, presumably stripped of said corsets, stampedes away from the sword-and-standard-bearing Corset Warrior Goddess. Her shield assures us our money will be returned if we aren't completely satisfied. This is a gorgeous piece of Victorian artwork. And is that a cross I see in the background? Never saw that before. A detail of the battlefield, I presume. And I can also make out on the banner, "with coiled wire spring elastic section." Ye gods.
And here are a couple of charming artist's renditions.
So, have I tried these things myself? Would you be shocked at the answer if I said yes? I've had - I think - a total of four of them. Two of the four ended up being unwearable due to extreme discomfort, and one was too big. Too big just doesn't work. I have one left, a black one, which is sort of nice, but the problem (!) is, I've lost 30 - 35 pounds in the past year and now it doesn't do a thing for me. These are, by the way, toy corsets bought on Amazon, not the real thing which are custom-made and can cost hundreds of dollars. For the most part, corsets are fetish wear and the wearers go to extremes and wear them all the time, even to sleep in, and "waist train" down to some ridiculous thing like 16".
And no, there are no pictures. Actually, there are, but I don't have access to them and wouldn't post them even if I did. Sorry.
AND A BLOGGER'S P. S.!
This is one I kept coming across, a painting whose provenance was unknown to me. Thanks to Tin Eye Reverse Image, I'm able to feed the program an image (ANY image!) and it will match it to the same image on other sites. The advantage is that it's usually possible to find a larger, clearer and generally superior version. As happened here with a painting that turned out to have an impossibly long file name: John-Singer-Sargent-Mrs.-George-Batten-Mabel-Veronica-Hatch.
Go figure it out! But here she is, and it's about the most orgasmic of all my Victorian collection. And because the original painting was long and narrow (enough that for years I thought it was a cropped-out detail of a much larger painting), I am able to post the image in its original size.