Yes, it’s a men’s corset! And why not? I am not the biggest fan of fairytale-princess prettiness, but I love to create something edgy and a little provoking.
After all, there are male ballet dancers, so why should this only be for ballerinas? I’ve explored the field of male corsetry for some time and wanted to do something completely different.
Luckily I have a friend who was in for a treat. He’s a comic drag stage performer and is used to wearing corsets.
At our first meeting I didn’t have a vision for the corset yet. As we were talking about ballet, the nutcracker sprang to mind. We both liked the idea of a uniform-styled corset and agreed on the color green and leather for the fashion layer.
I found an adorable very short shorn sheep fleece, dyed green. It was lush and soft, so velvety looking, I had to take it, even though I knew it would give me trouble to work with. For the lapels I chose contrasting skin colored leather with an antique, used look.
Bob and I were thinking red curtains and a big black furry Nutcracker's hat, but Milena, our photographer, wanted to style it less theatrically. She wanted to give it a modern, timeless look with punk elements and bright and clean lighting.
Bob wanted to keep his signature Drag Queen make-up as his personal trademark.
In the end we agreed that this wouldn’t be a classical ballet look, but an interpretation of the theme with a little twist.
During our last fitting, Bob had to prepare for a stage show in the evening.
Putting on his make-up is the procedure that gets him into character, he told us. It’s the transformation step which turns his private, normal self into his exuberant, flamboyant art figure.
And that’s exactly the thing I really love about corsetry. A perfect tool to transform yourself into a fantasy. To show the world a part of you which is normally hidden. To turn your crazy, creative ideas into reality and present a perfect illusion.
To listen to that little part of you which secretly wishes to wear that wonderful dress you’ve seen in a movie. Or to be that character from a book. I say: “Don’t just dream it, do it!” It’s liberating and a lot of fun. You just need the right occasion.
The Foundations Revealed competition is such an occasion for me. Time to get ideas spinning in my head, try something new and exciting, play around and make a creative vision come true.
Looking back at my design drawing, when the corset is finished, I find it most rewarding when it looks exactly as I had imagined it. A figment of my imagination became reality; it’s a bit like magic, isn’t it?
A big thanks to Bob and Milena, I couldn’t have had better help for this crazy project.
Model & Make-up: BOBabachtzehnuhr
Photo & Light: Milena Wojhan