e129. Corsets: Enhancement, Imprisonment, Empowerment, & Empresses

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.

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