So, I'm all hyped up for my visit to the symington colletion in Leicestershire tomorrow, and I am sad enough to be looking at their corsets online now, to try and get an idea of what I may be shown tomorrow. The corsets I am lookg at online from 1876-1882 mostly have a large amount of cording in them, which is surprising, but I will definitely keep that in mind when I am coming up with my final entry piece.
Colour wise there isn't really a very strong theme running through the corsets I have seen so far, of course there has been the typical khaki, and of course black, but If I also include 1875 in my date range the lovely lilac corset which is part of the symington collection is included, which means I haven't had any ideas strike me regarding fabric or colour schemes.
Taking my project to a level which is slightly different to Symingtons I have been looking into what was actually going on in the world at this time for ideas. Of course there was the boer war, but I haven't had many ideas surrounding this.
But then I decided to look a little closer to home... specifically to Coventry, my hometown.
Coventry, up until very recently, was known as a manufacturing town... silk, watches, ribbons, bicycles, cars, sewing machines and many other beautiful objects were created in my City in the past, (my dad is a classic car fanatic, owning two which were made in Coventry himself right now and being a founding member of the Made In Coventry Motor Association, so I know all about the beautiful cars we once produced!)
Wikipedia sums up the trades which we were famous for here > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Coventry#Industrialisation
What better for inspiring a seamstress than living in an (allbeit nowerdays extremely grotty) city which used to be world famous for the production of silk, ribbon and sewing machines!
But what was going on in 1876-1882?
Unfortunately the silk trade was long since dead, so I have to cross a beautiful silk piece inspired by the life of the Coventrian at this time off my list.
The manufacture of both watches and bicycles was still booming at this point, so I could do a piece perhaps with cogs, rather steampunk-y looking as a refference to the bicycle trade? I have a very old [c1900, not quite 1876 ;) ] hand turned sewing machine which I may use to do some of the work, as a nod to the sewing machine industry.
Ribbons... The ribbon trade was pretty much dead at this point, so I could make a black ribbon corset, in "mourning" for the ribbon trade, allthough the dates for a ribbon corset are probably far later than those given I think that as it is a reference to what was happening in my City at the time it still counts. I could also use one of my Waisted Creations labels in it, as they were made by Cash's (http://www.jjcash.co.uk/) , a Coventry ribbon manufacturer founded in 1846, and still going strong today (and even more miraculously, still in Coventry today!)
So these are my pre-symington thoughts... Hope I havent bored you too much, and I will post some lovely shiny pictures tomorrow :)