Dita Von Teese | Gaultier | La Perla | Can Corsets Make the Woman?

Dita Von Teese wore her La Perla corset in the Gaultier couture fashion show and is now burning up the digital runway. The one-off range will include a throwboack to Madonna’s iconic outfit worn on her Ambition tour in 1990. PHotos are already in our Top 15 reads. 

Corsets have always been considered glamorous (perhaps not by every woman who wore one) but surely in old movies and even on a woman like myself. 

A dramatic of lingerie statement, corsets are making a comeback.

The most simplistic psychological route to explain the trend is the popularity of corset-lovers like Dita Von Teese, who enjoys a strong following among young women. Lady Gaga wears corsets. And pinups are back in style. 

On a personal level, we see a more psychological relationship with women and corsets.

The non-thinking feminist response is to say that women should throw their corsets in the trash can, along with our bras. Fifty years after the second-wave of feminism has more or less stalled in America, we see corsets in a new light.

Corsets are Womanly

In a decade when fashion’s ideal woman looks like a guy — meaning she has no hips or breasts — corsets are unmistakably female.  If ever a female is a statement about woman power — it’s Madonna, who has enjoyed success on her terms, living life as a Smart Sensuality woman. 

For all the feminists who told us to throw away our sexy lingerie and eroticism, acting and dressing like men — sorry sisters, but your branch of feminism was wrong. My branch — the lipstick loving feminists — know about freedom and self-development, too. 

Corsets are Grounding

I love wearing corsets because they are a reminder of my physicality. I have breasts and hips and enjoy celebrating them with myself.  This topic has nothing to do with men, but with my relationship with the woman in the mirror.

Corsets remind me that I care about my body and how I look, and that self-discipline is required to retain my physicality. Of course, aging is part of life but we needn’t go to hell in a hand basket. 

As a lingerie-industry consultant, I’ve said for many years that spandex wasn’t so good for American women. I’ll never put sweat suits and comfort clothes at the top of reasons why American women lead the world’s developed countries in obesity. But I see comfort-dressing as a key factor in helping us forget that waistlines exist for a reason. 

Corsets remind me that a healthy BMI between 20 and 25 (note the Europeans say 18 BMI as the low range), and a shapely body are keys to my staying Superyoung and Smartly Sensual. I want my brainpower and physicality to last a lifetime, rather than trading it in ahead of schedule for a burger and fries. 

Boning tells me there’s no free ride on weight and physical appearance. I must eat right and exercise both mind and body because physicality is a simple mathematical equation.

Corsets are Seductive

As a sensual woman, I don’t try to drag out my sensuality for special occasions only.

Corsets — especially under a pin stripe suit —  communicate a very strong message about woman power and female-centric principles. With few exceptions, men don’t wear corsets which is fine with me, because I celebrate our differences.

Not only do we need glamour in our lives, we need eroticism and seduction, as opposed to only pornified digital experiences.

Looking at old movies, many of us feel a great nostalgia for flirtation and courtship. I’m not writing about men paying all the bills, and women being the princess. Actually, women were strong characters in old movies. We’ve lost more power in modern culture, from the looks of things. 

Corsets remind us of romance and sensuality, two elements written about constantly online and in print, but almost always in bullet-points. How does one nurture sensuality in a world where our experiences are increasingly relegated to stolen moments? 

Anne of Carversville is about changing our priorities and shutting down on occasions. Women who wear corsets want to get beyond sex with the computer screen or buying shoes instead of having any sex at all. Fashion and beauty has convinced us that we should love things, rather than people, when it comes to physical intimacy. 

We corset-loving ladies lead with our senses, even though our minds are frequently in superb shape, too. 

Dita Von Teese is a first-rate, female-centric corset bearer. La Perla lingerie has always understood female sensuality better than any lingerie brand. In pushing the envelope of female eroticism, La Perla NEVER goes down market. We love the Gaultier-LaPerla relationship and hope it becomes a strong one, rather than a fling.

The European Lingerie Experience

Personally, I’ve experienced sensationally erotic moments in Italy and always discretely, with a head held high. It amazes me that with the pope preaching around the corner, the Italians are so grounded in a positive sensuality.

Women are more revered in Europe than America whether they wear corsets or not. 

And for all our American feminist, high-minded arguments about sexy lingerie not being liberating, America is falling behind Europe in the status of women. No, the Italians don’t totally have their act together on women’s issues, but France is leaving American women in a cloud of grumbling dust. 

In France women spend up to 20-25% of every clothing dollar on lingerie, compared to American women spending about 10%. And they rate vastly higher in most global status of women statistics than American women score.

The Italian women are close to the French in not only their linger expenditures but also loving themselves at 45. American women believe we peak at 28.

What does this fact tell us about European women and their love of corsetry and inspired lingerie, compared to American women? That we American women like LYCRA and are very practical in our choices?

You tell me, because I argue that American women are paying a high price for our decision-making, when the topic is a little joy and playful seduction in our lives.

In survey after survey, we American women have no time for flirtation and almost consider it a waste of time. Will he marry me and have kids, if I flirt with him? That seems to be our time investment evaluation. 

YOU, the Woman in the Mirror

I will make a personal wager that any woman who starts wearing a beautiful corset one day a week — just for herself and under her sweats —  will over time fall in love with herself, care more about nurturing her body and spirit, and set herself on a new, structured journey into self-love.

That’s the power of corsets in my playbook.

You can call it a narcissistic waste of time, or you can consider it a path to wellness.

What I know is that a healthy woman who loves herself has lots more resources to take care of everyone else. So I don’t consider self-love an act of taking your eye off the ball. But I stress that self-love isn’t another pair of shoes in your closet.

Corsets are a deeply psychological, womanly experience — if we decide to feel the boning. Yes, the initial sensation may be one of tough love but then — watch out, world. Here you come! Anne

More reading:

The La Perla Lingerie Capsule:

La Perla | Gaultier | Ultimate Lingerie Seduction

Anne Is Mistaken for a Corset Terrorist

Dita Von Teese|Beyond Burlesque Queen