Sweetheart Victorian Corset For Cathie Jung By Dark Garden

Sweetheart Victorian corset for Cathie Jung, Guinness world record by Dark Garden. The Underpinnings Musuem. Photography by Tigz Rice

Date: 1996

Origin: San Francisco CA, United States

Fabric: Black leather, red leather appliqué, poplin lining

Brand: Dark Garden

Designer: Autumn Adamme


Cathie Jung (the Guinness World Record holder for the smallest waist on a living person) wanted a red and black leather corset that accentuated the smallness of her trained waist. Autumn Adamme created the red design after completing Cathie’s pattern. All of the appliqué needed to match at every part of the seam. The greatest challenge was accommodating her very trained waist as well as attempting to create a flat abdomen without using a spoon busk or excessively rigid steels. Dark Garden created two prototypes, fitting Cathie in person. The finished corset has a closed 16″ waist.

Autumn Adamme created her first corset in 1983 at the age of 12, and founded Dark Garden in 1989. Since the mid-90s, she’s been the preferred corsetiere for burlesque superstar Dita Von Teese, who wore a Dark Garden corset on the cover of Playboy in 2002. For her contributions to the resurgence of corsets in the 20th century, she’s been dubbed the Godmother of Modern Corsetry and is one of but a few makers from that era who is still creating. Dark Garden is one of the most venerated corsetry houses, employing roughly half a dozen artisans to create hundreds of corsets each year. 2015 and 2016 saw a cross-continental cameo collaboration between Autumn and the famed Mister Pearl.


Photographed at the Oxford Conference of Corsetry 2017, garment loaned by Autumn Adamme.

Museum number: OC-2017-010


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