Corsets and the Movies

In the fetish and BDSM literature, there is often much emphasis on tightlacing. In this case, the corset may still be underwear rather than outerwear.

There was a brief revival of the corset in the late 1940s and early 1950s, in the form of the waist cincher sometimes called a “waspie”. This was used to give the hourglass figure dictated by modern fashion designers. However, use of the waist cincher was restricted to haute couture, and most women continued to use super not sexy girdles.

Since the late 1980s, the corset has experienced periodic revivals, these revivals focus on the corset as an item of outerwear rather than underwear. The strongest of these revivals was seen in 2001 and 2002 fashion collections and coincided with the release of the film Moulin Rouge, the costumes for which featured many corsets as characteristic of the era.

Similarly, other films have used these garments as costume features, generally to suggest a period effect, as in Van Helsing, where Anna Valerious wears an underbust corset as part of her costume. Sometimes this is used for humorous purposes, as when Elizabeth Swann almost suffocates from wearing a tight corset in Pirates of the Caribbean – The Curse of the Black Pearl. One distinctive feature has been to portray them in combination with catsuits, as in Star Trek: Voyager where Seven of Nine throughout the series wears catsuits with contained built-in corsets, or Underworld, where Selene wears a black leather corset over matching latex catsuit.

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