From Issue 3.1 - September/October 1996

Strait-Laced: Corsets on Parade

By Rebecca Harris

On September 7th and 8th, C.U.R.V.E.S. -- the Corseting Union of Romantic Vivacious ElegantS, an association of businesses and individuals -- presented the second annual Grand Corset Celebration. "A Stroll Down Corset Lane" was a weekend of seminars and activities at the Clarion Bedford Hotel, with proceeds graciously benefiting the Women's AIDS Network. At the big Saturday evening event, the well-heeled (and well-lubricated, thanks to the generosity of Absolut vodka) crowd was mostly heterosexual, although there was a sprinkling of other sexualities, and most of the various genders were represented. The party was festive, with the undercurrent of sexual tension clearly anticipating the main event, a corset fashion show. The modern corset was presented as glamorous evening wear; some were beautiful, some were unexpected. Men were on the runway as well as women, proving that there are no gender lines in extreme fashion. Compared to the vibrant bawdiness the leather community is more familiar with, this event was more elegantly restrained. There was not an indiscreet flash of skin during the entire evening --even the opening act belly dancer was primly veiled. It was -- dare we say it -- strait-laced.

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Last updated: 30 September 1996