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Vivienne Westwood UK

Corset Exhibition


Vivienne Westwood Gold Label Spring-Summer 2012 ‘War & Peace’ collection.

For the Spring-Summer 2012 collection, Vivienne proceeded to refine her vision of extreme silhouettes. In her collection notes, she stated, ‘For some time I wanted to do oversized historical corsets. I thought I could give them a feeling of armour; worn as a jacket they would look tough – like a soldier or biker. The corsets we chose to oversize are from the England of Charles II.’ Westwood’s interpretation allied these corsets to armour – something she first drew inspiration from in the 1988 ‘Time Machine’ collection, where the Harris tweed jackets drew their distinct shapes from the plated armour in London’s Wallace Collection.

‘Here, loosened, it frames the body rather than constrains it, and enables a woman to do battle. Andreas Kronthaler said that corsets equip the modern woman with a "feeling of armour" worn by Queens’ — Alexander Fury


Listen to fashion journalist, author and critic, Alexander Fury, as he discusses the iconic corset pieces featured in the installation.