Alexandra Leigh Pearson


Corsetry, like fashion in general, has evolved throughout the centuries.  As styles changed, needs changed, and as the world changed, corsetry followed.  My thesis body of work traces these changes from the corsets in the late 18th century that flattened stomachs, to the hourglass and restrictive whalebone corsets of the mid 19th century, to the straight, long, and lean shapewear of the early 20th century, and finally to the decorative and non-functional corsets people wear today.  Through this evolution, we can see that corsets were once used to shape the body into a more pleasing figure but have since become a fashion statement—sometimes used for seduction—rather than a functional undergarment.  They were the norm before, but now they are merely a fashion statement made by a few select people.  As fashion progressed, different fabrics, patterns, and colors were used as styles changed and cycled through time.





Typeface:  Century Schoolbook, Futura

Photography: all by artist

Florence, 2013