'Burning Coals' Silk & Lace Appliqué Overbust Corset By Sparklewren

'Burning Coals' Silk & Lace Appliqué Overbust Corset By Sparklewren, 2012, United Kingdom. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice.

Date: 2012

Origin: United Kingdom

Fabric: Silk duchesse, cotton coutil, French leavers lace

Brand: Sparklewren


A dramatically curvy overbust corset in black silk duchesse and cotton coutil, pattern cut in the signature Sparklewren Bird’s Wing style, inspired by the antique ‘Bird’s Wing’ corset from the Symington Collection held by Leicestershire County Council’s Museums Service. The garment was supposedly named for the fact that it looks like a bird’s wing when laid flat. The original 1900s antique used an unusually high number of 21 panels per side, with a lapped seam construction enclosing a bone in each seam. This corset has a lesser number of panels per side, but is still highly structured with complex shaping. It is structured throughout with a mix of spiral and flat steel boning, opening at the front and back with a steel busk, cotton lacing and metal eyelets.

‘Burning Coals’ is embellished in a richly textural style. French leavers laces in black and metallic gold are layered and hand appliquéd in place. Black metal spikes are scattered throughout the lace overlay, interspersed with Swarovski crystals in jet and rich orange. This garment was originally created as an experimental sample.

Jenni Hampshire began creating corsets under the moniker ‘Sparklewren’ in 2009. The designer’s background in Fine Art has resulted in a body of work akin to wearable sculpture. Historically inspired silhouettes and construction techniques are paired with lush, opulent embellishment and couture construction techniques. The brand specialises in one-of-a-kind heirloom garments, with each garment taking weeks of carefully considered embellishment and craftsmanship.



Kindly loaned by Holly Snaith

Museum number: SP-2018-009


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