Underpinnings ~

With all of the talk about lingerie inspired looks in the runway collections, I want to share some of my favourite lingerie designers and designs.  Over the next several days, (it may take several!) I plan to post various designers and styles.

Mr Pearl corset
Today’s topic: Corsets!  What is sexier?  Corsets came into vogue during the 1990’s.  However, they have been around for hundreds of years, if not longer. 
In the 1800’s, the corset was thought of as a medical necessity.  It was believed that a woman was very fragile and needed assistance from some sort of stay to hold her up.
corset shop in France, circa 1912
Over time, the styling has changed from it’s original design. The materials have changed as well. 
Corsets were once made of thick leather with whalebone or steel stays.  No wonder women were always fainting!
Mr Pearl
When I think of corsets, immediately Mr Pearl comes to mind.  Set up as a corset-maker to the stars in London in 1994, Mark Pullin, calling himself Mr Pearl, has lived in Paris since 2002 designing for couture houses.  His work is precise and meticulous, with hand beading and the attention to detail fit for a queen.
Mr Pearl corset
Pearl, himself, has worn an 18″ corset, day and night, for over a decade.  He works out of an atelier behind the Notre Dame cathedral.  Commissioned by Lacroix, Gaultier and Galliano for their runway designs, Pearl’s clients also include Kylie Minogue, Dita Von Teese and Jerry Hall.
Louise Feuillère
Another exquisite corset-maker is Louise Feuillère.  In 2007, it was Feuillère that won the Meilleur Ouvrier de France title for lingerie-corsetry (Best Craftsman of France). 
Louise Feuillère
The two most common corset styles are over-bust and under-bust.  I prefer to have at least one of each.

Sophia Loren ~ isn’t she a beauty?
     Many designers are featuring corsets once again on the runway for Spring.  Do you wonder how to incorporate this trend into your ensemble? 
Dior Spring 2010
My favourite looks are from Dior, Dolce and Gabbana and Jason Wu.  For myself, I prefer the styles of Dolce and Jason Wu ~ paired with a cardigan or under a sheer blouse. 
Dolce and Gabana
Jason Wu

Dolce and Gobbana
If you don’t have the funds for couture, these affordable corsets are every bit as lovely.  A well made corset will last for years.
What Katie Did

Agent Provocateur
Carine Gilson
Corset styling comes in all shapes and forms, especially from Chantal Thomass.  I love, love, love Chantal Thomass!  I plan to have an entire post dedicated to her that will feature more of her corset styling of various products.
Chantal Thomass Pouf
Au Revoir!  xoxo, B

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  • Reply Bonjour Madame January 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    This is a fantastic post and really informative! The photos are beautiful. I hope you do not mind if I put you on my sidebar. I can't believe i haven't so far…please forgive me!


  • Reply BonjourRomance January 20, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    So gorgeous, and France always seem like the perfect place to find the most beautiful lingerie. Corsets are so feminine! I agree with your choices of Dolce and Jason Wu.
    Have a a fabulous evening!

  • Reply kevin georgina grayson simon January 20, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    I also like Maya Hansen. Love this post.

  • Reply Belle Vie January 20, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Bonjour Madame, thank you very much! I would love to be added to your sidebar. xoxox, B

  • Reply Belle Vie January 20, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Bonjour Romance, I love lingerie shopping in Paris! I simply love shopping in Paris.
    A lovely trip to Paris was my birthday present from my husband a few months ago. Fifi Chachnil on Rue Saint Honoré was my favourite, followed by Chantal Thomass. I absolutely adore both designers.

    KGGS, Maya Hansen is exquisite! Thank you for sharing. I wish the line was sold in the US.

    xoxo, B

  • Reply The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after January 20, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    A lovely post.
    You know I not two days ago saw Marion Cotillard in that Dior with the ornamented skirt so beautiful.
    Warm regards,

  • Reply Dustjacket Attic January 20, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Such an interesting post, some lovely shots too. I just cannot imagine wearing a corset like Mr Pearl, all the time!

    I did a post on corsets a while back you may like, including Maya Hansens work.

  • Reply lady jicky January 21, 2010 at 12:11 am

    I do not like corsets for I have had alot of surgery and to wear one of those would be torture for me.

    I have to wonder what Mr Pearls digestion must be like! LOL

  • Reply Couture Carrie January 21, 2010 at 8:44 am

    OMG! This is my favorite post of yours EVER! What a perfect combo of history, runway looks, and gorgeous pieces that I can actually buy RIGHT NOW! Love corsetry, adore this post!


  • Reply Tish Jett January 21, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Now this is wonderful. I can't believe I haven't found you before.

    Your blog is so stylish and delightful.

    Who could resist the title let alone the rest?

  • Reply Fifi Flowers January 21, 2010 at 11:59 am

    FABULOUS post! I used to wear those in the 80s to nightclubs NOT under clothing… but right out in the open… ooooh the good old days… thin and young enough to pull it off!
    Merci for the memories!

  • Reply Paris Pastry January 21, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Such a fab post! I adore corsets! I've been looking for ages to buy one – so far no luck. They're really hard to find here in Holland. I'm hoping to buy one next time I'm in Paris.

    Btw, that floorlength Dior gown is one of my favorites from the Spring 2010 collection too! Marion Cotillard wore it a few days ago!

  • Reply Belle Vie January 21, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Merci everyone!! I'm thrilled that everyone likes the post! Still being new to blogging, I tend to get butterflies when I add a new post.

    Marion Cotillard was stunning in the Dior gown. She also looked breathtaking at the NY screening of Nine in a white Dior column dress. A lucky to girl to be the spokeswoman and wear the label head to toe!

  • Reply The Eternal Intern January 25, 2010 at 11:06 am

    This is a ridiculously beautiful post! I love it! x Ophelia

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