'Strawberry Leopard' Silk Overbust Corset By Sparklewren

'Strawberry Leopard' Silk Overbust Corset By Sparklewren. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice

Date:  2013

Origin: United Kingdom

Fabric: Silk duchesse, cotton coutil

Brand: Sparklewren

Designer: Jenni Hampshire


The ‘Strawberry Leopard’ corset was an experiment in creating a pared down corset 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 pattern for the Strawberry Leopard incorporates only 10 panels per side and offers gentle shaping rather than extreme curves.

The corset uses an outer fabric of pale pink silk duchesse, lined with cotton coutil for strength. Pale pink leavers lace appliqué is layered over leopard-print silk chiffon, with ‘lichen’ effect degradé finish silk organza applied by hand and a scattering of freshwater pearls and large Swarovski crystals.

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.


From the collection of Karolina Laskowska

Museum number: KL-2017-109


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