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Confessions of a Corset Addict: A Girl’s Love Affair with Waist Cinchers

Blonde with Passion -photography Instagram

Some may know her as a talented Oran-based photographer, the girl behind Blonde with Passion on Instagram. But Most of us know Sam as the mutual on hfT with an eye for high fashion and a love for corsets. Her passion for stunning, unique corsetry that captures the beauty and artistry of both the human form and the garments that adorn it, is refreshing to stumble across on the platform. Sam is en route to becoming a real corsetry connoisseur (in my opinion) as well as an antique corset collector, and she continues to explore her fascination with the old-fashioned charm of corsets.

I had the amazing opportunity to interview Sam about her favorite corsets and designers:

Angel -What was the first corset you ever owned or saw, and what made you fall in love with

Sam – The very first corset moment that stirred up the fire inside me was Gaultier’s conical-busted
one for Madonna’s 1990 Blond Ambition tour though it debuted first on the runway in 1987
before being adapted for her. The subversive power of this corset resulted in my deep fondness for Jean Paul Gaultier today. Madonna chose this piece as a statement
of female empowerment and an act of exerting her dominance and defiance against her
conservative detractors which opened my eyes to how this piece of garment can
function as a symbol of female beauty and embodies the new power of the female at the
same time. It’s Fascinating!

Jean Paul Gaultier corset worn by Madonna
Sam in her coveted find

Last year, after spending so much time on Etsy looking up antique pieces to secure, I
happened to come across this boutique called “Coveted & Found” which, surprisingly was
listing this gorgeous pink peach Gaultier look-alike antique corset for a reasonable price,
and while knowing back then how desperately I needed to own my first corset, investing in
it was an absolute necessity.

A– How would you incorporate corsets into your everyday wardrobe? Do you have a favorite outfit that features a corset?

Mood board of Sam’s favorites (created by Sam)

S I often take my inspiration from Gaultier’s oldest shows, he may not have been the first to
lead the undergarment-as-outerwear trend but, he sure has an undeniable impact on this.
from wearing corsets with blazers and suits (I would tuck them into the trousers which
are also something I first took from his spring 2004 collections), I would like to wear them
mostly with sheer tulle skirts, relaxed loose dresses, Victorian-style nightgowns with lace
collar (I do pay attention a lot to details when it comes to styling my corsets) I still
need to add more of these pieces to my closet this is definitely how I envision my next
looks. Moreover, I would often add exposed lingerie of all kinds, be it garters, bralettes, or
thigh-highs, it is always the unrelenting chicness with which you can wear them together
that gets me. Here are a few outfits featuring corsets that have been always my favorites:

A Have you ever tried designing your own corset? Or which designer would you choose
to make your one-of-a-kind custom corset and why?
S Unfortunately, I have never tried to put in the work and design my ideal type of corset as I
have never designed anything before. However, I would gladly choose -once again-
Monsieur Gaultier to make the corset of my dreams, given the fact that we both share the
same style, I strongly believe that he could easily unravel the idea of what I’m looking for
without any further explanations. He often incorporates lacing, salmon satin, flesh-light
pink-overall nude color palette into his corsetry which is exactly everything I like to include
in my ideal type of corset.

A – How do you feel about the resurgence of corsets in popular fashion in recent years?
Do you think it’s a positive trend? Who or what do you think is the driving force of these
S It is quite astonishing actually how many are welcoming them back into their lives and I
can’t help but feel glad. To be fully honest, I don’t see it as a negative trend although it
might appear quite excessive at times however, I’m often enthused by how other people
would style them and incorporate them into their wardrobes, it keeps me constantly
inspired which is a good thing. Luxury brands have been definitely behind these trends
recently, such as Versace, Dior, Gucci, and many more, the strong presence of corsets in
their latest ready-to-wear collections is hard to neglect. Then, we have the fast fashion brands
that would subsequently make their copies which is easily considered as another
contributing factor in the emergence of these trends.

Sam’s Favorite Historical Corsets

Do you have a favorite corset era? What sets them apart from other eras in your
S The 19th century is definitely one to my taste. Corsets were designed to achieve the
hourglass silhouette and they were often lavishly adorned with silk brocade, frills, lace, and
bows which is the reason behind my obsession with Victorian corsets. Corsets (then called “stays”) have reached the zenith of popularity in this era which makes it more special, most importantly because of their transition from hand-made to machine-made corsets, I favor this era the most because of how they helped women in many ways such as maintaining an elegant upright posture and bearing as well as signifying a woman’s social status, and respectability.

A How has your relationship with corsets evolved over time? Have you noticed any
changes in your preferences or styles?
S Now if we look back at my preferences four years ago, corsets we absolutely not included,
perhaps because I used to know less about them, less about Gaultier’s history with
Madonna, but the latter was definitely my starting point, the more I discovered about
Gaultier, the more I grew attracted to corsetry. I subsequently started deviating from
my old personal style which was more aligned with streetwear, however my adoration
of the underwear-as-outerwear trend was always there in me.

A – Do you think corsets will continue to be a popular fashion choice in the future? Why or
why not?
S From my point of view, corsets have never been ostracized as a trend. I have noticed their
strong presence each year which makes me believe that they will undoubtedly continue
to be as important in one’s wardrobe in the future.
8. What are your top five favorite corsets and designers?
I have an infinite list of my favorite corsets but the five corsets remaining on top of it
would be defined as follows:

1. Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2012 Haute Couture corset.
2. Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2020 Haute Couture corset.
3. Glenn Martens couture for Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2022 Haute couture.
4. Thierry Mugler Spring 1998 Couture collection.
5. Vivienne Westwood Boucher Print Corset, AW90/91.

As for my favorite designers, for the moment, Jean Paul Gaultier will always remain
my all-time favorite, then comes Vivienne Westwood and Thierry Mugler, also when it comes to the designers of our generation, I greatly admire Dilara Findikoglu and Glenn Martens.

A – What would you like to see from future corsets from your favorite designers?
SI would absolutely love to see more of the Victorian-style corsets, the revival of the
antique ones, the use of lacing instead of zippers, and more lace details as well as
frills and bows.

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