'Love In A Mist' Silk & Lace Appliquéd Overbust Corset By Sparklewren

'Love In A Mist' Silk & Lace Appliquéd Overbust Corset By Sparklewren, 2015, UK. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice

Date: 2015

Origin: United Kingdom

Fabric: Silk

Brand: Sparklewren


An overbust corset in ice-blue duchesse satin, a bespoke creation for corsetiere Lucy Emke. It is dramatically shaped, with swooping hip curves, and sweetheart shaping at the bustline and centre back. This corset uses the birdswing patterning technique, 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. The corset fastens with a wide steel busk at the centre front, and metal eyelets and cotton lacing at the back. It is structured throughout with a mix of spiral and flat steel bones.

The assymetric embellishment on this garment is elaborate: French lace has been hand painted in variegated tones of greys, purples and ivory, and is delicately layered and hand appliquéd in place. Hand stitched peacock freshwater pearls, iridescent sequins and glass seed beads are scattered across the body of the garment.

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.


Kindly loaned by Lucy Emke

Museum number: SP-2019-003


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