July 13, 2014

Period Corsets® Gets Witchy with Salem

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Grab your broomsticks and suspend your sense of disbelief! We're off to Salem, Massachusetts circa 1692.  This production provided us another great collaboration with an amazing design team for this latest supernatural drama, "Salem".  The series focuses less on the historically accurate side of the infamous witch burning events in the town, and more on scandal, sex and incantations.

The costumes designed by Joseph Porro are provocative and decadent. Period Corsets® garments figure prominently throughout the series from episode 5 though 14 and are often seen on screen as outerwear and under wear.

detail of our custom brocade corset
Though many liberties are taken in the plot with the re-telling of the famous witch trials, it does reference actual historical figures. We had the pleasure of costuming many of the characters involved, most notably Tituba, Mercy Lewis and Mary Sibley. These were all real women involved in the trials, who now play a larger, if not more scandalous, role in the series.

Mercy and the witches of Salem in our front lacing custom corset

The costume designer, Mr. Porro has brought his usual skill and knowledge of the period to this project. He combines details that nod to the fantastical side (ie: embroidered iridescent green beetle wings seen below ),  with his solid historic underlying silhouettes. Together they evoke the world of the show eloquently.
Mary in our custom green brocade bodice

As with all costumes, Salem's wardrobe is a valuable player in portraying the personality and role of each character. Mary's wardrobe consisted of a lot of rich fabrics and elaborate brocades. Her costumes create a very lady-like and grand feel, being one of the most prominent characters with an important background in the community. To represent Mercy's dark story, the designer chose a lot of heavily textured, black on black materials balanced with some neutral pieces. Tituba is more exotic with a lot of jewel tones and more natural fibers.

"Mary Sibley"

"Mercy Lewis"


Period Corsets® was in four months of production with Salem, providing us with an incredibly creative collaboration with  their design team. They inundated us with a huge range of materials, everything from vintage silver lame herringbone kimono fabric to eyelet faux leather to burnout velvet silk overlaying satin. Every day was filled with anticipation to discover what rich materials they had in store for us next. Our finished garments where often the base for Mr. Porro's design team to take them to the next level of fantasy. They used luxurious trims and feathers, or distressed them with dirt, and of course lots and lots of blood.

Corsets and bodices in every fabric possible

Close to 40 pieces were created for the first season of the show. Some were stock items, such as our Marie Antoinette corset and our Kristina corset. Other items were completely custom created from the designers research images. Many of our creations were bodices with sleeves. A fitted corset look with either inset sleeves or tied-on sleeves, with or without cuffs in varying shapes.

Bodice with sleeves

See the full first season  of "Salem" streaming on Netflix. See our cauldron full of corsets in our slideshow below! Stay tuned for Season 2.

Slideshow not working? Follow the link to see our album.

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Period Corsets - Design by Dzelque Blogger Templates 2008