This first entry is my initial outburst of ideas, leading up to the latest news regarding my entry.
When first read the dates of the competition (1876-1882) I was thrilled. The Natural Form Era is my personal favourite, and I have a lot of books relating to the fashion (and corsets) of this era. So, I got them all out, had a flick through to remind myself of the overall sillhouette and style of the period and then set my mind to how I could apply that to a competition piece. The boundries for the competition are so wide that I had the trouble of having too many ideas and decided to set my own boundries to reign myself in a little.
I looked though Frances Grimbles books on the era, as well as Corsets and Crinolines, Jill Salens corsets and Foundations of Fashion by Phillip Warren, and decided that my corset will have cording and flossing, based on the corsets I have seen from this era, as well as giving a reduction of around 5-6".
This, however, doesn't qualify them as being Natural Form era. I would have restrained myself further by telling myself it needs a spoon busk at the front, but I don't want to do that at this stage.
I wanted to make more than one corset, all based around the same theme and had the idea that I would make them all for one woman living during this period. She would be a young woman, and the first piece would be her first grown up corset, drab and plain, but functional, I would use a pattern from the late 1870's for this. The second would be a part of her bridal troussou, using a pattern from the early 1880's and the final piece would be a mourning corset in black, as my unfortunate woman lost her husband in the Boer war, this would also involve a pattern from the early 1880s.
My initial thoughts are that I like this idea, and I have several fabrics/patterns in mind for each piece.
My second piece of major research will be a visit to the Symington collection in Leicestershire to view a selection of corsets from the dates I have given them (1876-1882) I explained what I am doing (examining them for a corsetry competition) and they have been kind enough to grant me a study day on April 9th to view the corsets from their archives up close. I am really really excited about this as the last time I went up was when I had made only one corset and was very inexperienced. I am hoping to be able to take a pattern from at least one of the corsets with the time I have been given and photograph them all in detail.
I thin my next blog entry will be after I have been to the collection, so I will speak to you all soon!