July 20, 2017

Period Corsets Salon look- 1880s Alice

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A Photo Shoot in the Making- looking back at our 1880s Salon and the process involved in making a beautiful ensemble.  For this look, Period Corsets chose the c.1880 Alice corset, constructed in a beautiful steely blue brocade, trimmed in lace and ribbons with matching bloomers and chemise.

There are so many steps involved when arranging for a large photo shoot. Finding the right photographer and studio, hair, wigs and makeup and,-our favorite part- constructing the ensemble. Before constructing anything though, we must first assemble our research, materials, and notes. Everything is kept in a binder for quick reference to keep it streamlined and organized.
We first begin with a design sketch. This is used to give us a visual map of what we want our final look to achieve. Above design sketch by Doris Black.
-Swatches of fabrics and trims are collected to keep track of what materials we'll be using. Here we can also add notes on how much yardage we used and what vendors we purchased from. 
 In the binder we also include all of our reference photos and research. For this project we used pictures of several vintage corsets and historic paintings as inspiration for certain details and the overall look and feel that we were going for. 
This gorgeous vintage specimen from 1880s France, courtesy the Kyoto Costume Institute, was a major inspiration for us. Made from pale blue silk, this corset's color and use of  trims was just want we wanted to capture in our own look.

The delicate frills and color palette of this painting by Edouard Manet, titled "Nana" c.1887,  was another influential piece. Very similar to the previous vintage corset. The color palette and feeling of this painting captured what we were looking for.

 This corset from 1900, was another inspiring vintage look that brought us to our final design. With its wide lace trim, sweet center front bow and garters worn with squared lace trimmed chemise and bloomers, it was the perfect look for our own c.1880s salon ensemble. Photo curtesy of Kyoto Costume Institute. 
Once we have our vision in mind and gather all of our materials and reference information, we are ready to transform our classic catalog offerings into more dressed up versions. Above is what we started with, our c. 1880 Alice corset, bloomers, and v-neck chemise.
The final bloomers along with the fittings to test the bloomers and garter placement.

Detail of the lace trimmed chemise with matching blue ribbon accents.
The final corset and fabric swatches of the brocade. We chose the steel blue option at the top. 

The final look


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