'Weeping Hydra' Beaded Overbust Corset By Emiah

Weeping Hydra beaded overbust corset By Emiah. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice

Date: 2016-2017

Origin: United Kingdom

Fabric: Coutil, embellished with freshwater pearls, glass pearls, goldstone beads and seed beads in various sizes

Brand: Emiah

Designer: Alycia Hirani



The corset’s base fabric consists of a single layer of hand-dyed coutil, which was used for its ability to mold around the body like a second skin whilst also adding needed structure to support the heavy amount of pearls. A custom 19-paneled pattern was constructed with internal boning channels, to create a smooth canvas without disrupting the embellishment. It’s cut with a cupped rib to create a full shape and emphasise the narrow waist.

This corset is the dark sister of Emiah’s first heavily beaded corset. The ‘Pearled Beast’ was more romantic, featuring pure white and pale pink baroque pearls, with a soft and round silhouette. The ‘Weeping Hydra’ however was created as its opposite. It is slightly more sinister with its pointed lines, inky black goldstone beads and dark oil slick pearls. This corset was heavily inspired by the organic way sea froth washes up onto the shore at night, creating glittering gradients of colour in the moonlight.

It features approximately 7,000 hand-sewn pearls and beads in various sizes and took over 170 hours to complete.


Photographed at the Oxford Conference of Corsetry 2017, garment loaned by Alycia Hirani.

Museum number: OC-2017-005


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