2016 saw the revival of the corset, now the bustier, the raunchier sister, takes its place. This notable Victorian staple was designed to accentuate and exaggerate the female form and the so called ‘hourglass figure’ has proved an alluring concept to males over the centuries. It has been well documented that these corseted, pronounced feminine curves have been visual foreplay to a male’s desire, therefore it is little wonder why the corset/bustier has survived the test of time. But nowadays the bustier is seen as a symbol of sexual choice and empowerment with women feeling free and comfortable to express their femininity in such a garment. The male gaze will long continue but so will the female identity.
The S/S 18 runway was replete with reinvented, rejuvenated and regjigged bustier interpretations, the traditional shape of Salvatore Ferragomo’s structured sweetheart neckline bustier paired with a sweeping zig-zag hemline skirt delivers instant glamour. Alexander Wang pulls off a more contemporary remix of the trend with an off-the-shoulder shirt cleverly cut to define the shape of the bustier. A few brands dabbled in on the trend with an effortless, subtle approach, contouring the bust shape with stitching and trims, and it seemed lace was the textile of choice. Is it a bralette? Is it a bustier? Shiatzy Chen blurred the lines with his lacy take on the trend.
Retail Assistant at Topshop, Rebecca Khurt reveals “I have spotted a lot of new bustier pieces coming in” and shared her wisdom on why she thinks the bustier has caught fashion’s gaze “I think it is a response to minimalism in fashion. A lot of the shapes that are currently popular are loose and casual and I think the bustier juxtaposes that and creates a statement, a sculptural, sexy silhouette.”
Earlier this month singer and style devotee Dua Lipa appeared on Later…with Jools Holland and channelled Madonna Blond Ambition with her conical bustier and proved it needs pairing with little more than trackies to smoulder. Model, Bella Hadid, quickly became a trailblazer for the corset and taking on the bustier has proved no different, the star sported a sheer SS17 Dior bustier corset gown in January this year when the she attended Christian Dior’s Haute Couture Bal Masque. More recently Bella attended Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards in Brooklyn, New York in a silver asymmetrical bustier top styled with white sweeping trousers and blazer.
Victoria Hanlon, worked for a vintage fashion stall holder at Portobello Market in the 1980’s, ponders on the reason as to why the bustier is a trend now “It is timeless, it can literally be paired with a current trend piece for an instant statement. Fashion is always re-hashed and objectified and therefore the bustier will always be saliant.”
Prepare to ramp up your look as the high-street is delivering A/Ws most covetable bustiers. Topshop’s satin bustier dress is set to become the ultimate head-turner, its rich burgundy tone and tailored bustier is destined to become your showpiece for the upcoming festive party-season. For daytime opt for a casual statement, H&M does the layering for you, with their cotton blouse with flared peplum bustier. Team with wide-leg trousers for an effortless way to indulge in power dressing.
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