Corsets are the most prominent trend in 2021 sartorial fashion. The wildly popular Regency-era series Bridgerton caused a 123% increase in searches for the constrictive silhouette in just four weeks after its December release. There were also celebrity sightings with Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish taking the trend for a spin, as well as Billie Eilish and Jordan Alexander. The corset is now the fashion trend of 2021, thanks to a host of runway and red carpet appearances.
Rosie Evans, a Welsh designer, began creating modernized versions Elizabethan- or Jacobean-style undergarments long before this year.
Evans, then 25, originally planned to be a costume designer. However, she realized that creating costumes-like looks for everyday people was more satisfying than designing costumes for actors. Corsets were a particular interest. She studied them extensively at the University of the West of England, Bristol, her final year. But she never made one. One day, she just thought, “Why not?”
Refinery29’s Sheryl says that she was interested in the corsets and decided to continue with it. “I’m going give it a try and do some mockups myself and see what happens.” She created her first corset using an old sofa fabric and a Jacobean pattern. Evans’ corset-making venture coincided with the emergence of the trend in fashion, and pop culture. She says the audience showed interest immediately. She recalls, “I made that one and posted it, and people began to message us.”
The rest of her collection looked like something from the French fairy tales that she draws inspiration from. Her latest collection was inspired in part by Cinderella by Charles Perrault (1697), and Donkey Skin (from 1970s France, which is based off the 1695 Peau d’ane fable). She quickly gained more than 16,000 followers on the platform. Here she shares her collection of “high fantasy” corsets. All of them are made with materials that you might already have at home like tablecloths and tea towels. TikTok is also catching her attention. You can also find videos of her complex process on TikTok. Evans transforms a towel with a map from Scotland printed on it into an Eilish-approved bustier.
She also created styles from old pillowcases that she dressed up with vintage doilies. Recycled cotton and felt are embroidered with retro clothing labels. and deadstock ivory silk inspired by Anne Boleyn’s bustier on The Tudors.
Today, Evans’ name brand is available in Europe and the U.S. including Paris’ Les Fleurs Studio, founded by Maria Bernad (fashion influencer) and Doza Shop, an independent multibrand retailer based out of Los Angeles. Her collaboration with British designer Bethany Williams, which benefitted The Magpie Project (a U.K.-based charity that helps families in east London), was published in British Vogue in May.
Evans says that sudden rise in brand interest is due to a combination. People’s habits changed during the pandemic. Many people are now looking for eco-friendly fashion. There is also the issue of price. She says corsets are a big trend right now, but not many people are making them sustainably. Evans also makes crafts pieces out of recycled materials. Evans uses historic corsets to guide her designs, which she believes are more fashionable and wearable. They are usually priced between roughly $165 to $219. Corsets made by lingerie brands like Agent Provocateur, on the other hand, can go for upwards of $1,000.
Her signature fantasy-inspired style appealed to many lockdown residents, who were looking for a fashion escape to a faraway place. She says that corsets are about dressing up and making you look different from other people.
Evans is not going anywhere just because she has decided to leave home. Evans is just beginning. We’re going to be seeing more of her designer with a new studio in Brighton.