Date: c. 2015
Origin: United Kingdom
Fabric: Silk and lace
An underbust corset in a single layer of silk duchesse, made in the signature Sparklewren ‘Bird’s Wing’ style, with lapped seams, numerous fine steel bones and single layer construction. It fastens with a front busk closure and eyelets and cotton lacing in the rear.
The original ‘Bird’s Wing’ corset is an extant piece from the 1900s 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 corset featured an unusually high number of 21 panels per side, with a lapped seam construction enclosing a bone in each seam.
This corset began life in 2014 as an unembellished, longer line’Phoenix’ corset, part of a small range of experimental ready-to-wear styles from the Sparklewren brand. In 2015 the sample was trimmed down at the underbust and then embellished with hand painted lace appliqué to join the ‘Falling Blossoms’ family of corsets.
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 specialised in one-of-a-kind heirloom garments, with each garment taking weeks of carefully considered embellishment and craftsmanship.
From the collection of Karolina Laskowska