The corset might be one of the most fascinating garments in the history of fashion. On one hand, it’s simply underwear. It is a garment that provides a specific function. On the other hand popular culture has made it a symbol forever associated with everything from the Victorian Age to 80s pop music to burlesque to BDSM culture. It is by some seen as the pinnacle of feminine sexuality and on the other as an oppressive tool of patriarchy. It has bounced between the pinnacle of high class fashion and a mark of gauche low class populism. On this week’s episode, Katya and Hannah are joined by professors Laura Engel, Carolyn Day and Cheryl Spinner to talk about the 500 year history of the most interesting underwear ever devised and its place in popular culture including the lost portions of the history from the corset as a male garment to the pornographic photo collections belong to Austrian royalty.
Citations and Links:
- This episode’s Call for Comments
- Orchard Corset
- “The Tragic Austrian Empress Who Was Murdered by Anarchists” from the History Channel
- I Wore 18th-Century Clothing *Every Day for 5 YEARS & This Is What I Learned (Corsets Aren’t Bad!) by Abby Cox
- The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women by Naomi Wolf
- Consumptive Chic: A History of Beauty, Fashion, and Disease by Carolyn Day
- Women, Performance and the Material of Memory: The Archival Tourist, 1780–1915 by Laura Engel
- Check out Cheryl Spinner’s website: http://cheryl-spinner.com
- Thank you to Maximilian’s thoughtForm Music for our theme
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- Follow Katya on Instagram: @justthatnerdkid
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