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Roberto Cavalli Waistcoat Corset

This post is a summary of the “Roberto Cavalli Corset-Style Vest/ Waistcoat” video, which you can watch on Youtube if you prefer:

 

Fit, length Center front is 9.5 inches long, the side seam is 11 inches (from the armscye to the hip), and the center back is 19 inches from the collar to the bottom. Circumferential measurements: waist is 26″, full bust is 32″, high hip is also 32″. The silhouette is modern slim – not made for tightlacing or waist training.
Material Fashion fabric is a dusty blush colored wool/viscose blend, and the lining and back panels are 100% silk.
Construction 12 panel pattern. The panels were cut to look like a ribbon cincher on the fashion layer. The floating lining is more simple and streamlined.
Binding None. The garment was sewn right-sides together, flipped right-side out, and the lower seam was hand-finished and pressed so the seam is hidden.
Waist tape None (didn’t expect to find one as it’s not a genuine corset, and also ribbon cinchers tend not to have waist tapes in general).
Modesty panel None. The exposed gap in the back allows heat and perspiration to escape, like the vents in other garments.
Busk 9 inches long with 5 pins, the last two of which are closer together. Standard flexible busk (half inch on each side).
Boning 10 total bones not including busk. 1/4″ wide bones, all plastic / acrylic. Three bones on each side panel, and two more 1/4″ wide bones sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 24 grommets total – very tiny (size #X00) 2-part eyelets with very narrow flange, finished in gold and set equidistantly. A few splits on the underside, but for the most part they’ve rolled nicely and don’t catch on the laces. Washers are teeny as well, but they do their job.
Laces 1/4″ pale pink flat polyester shoelace. Zero spring. The garment game laced with the bow at the bottom as opposed to at the waistline.
Kristin Chenoweth in Roberto Cavalli at the 2014 Oscars

 

 

 

I fully admit that I’m a bit of a Cavalli fan, even though this is the first designer piece I’ve ever owned. I found this garment on Ebay whilst 2nd-hand corset hunting, and after many months of contemplation, decided it would be worth checking out – because of the circumstances, I haven’t been able to track down the year / season of this piece or the retail value. But if this is a genuine Cavalli, then going by the price of his current designs, I would say that I got a decent deal on this.

Jennifer Lopez in Roberto Cavalli at the AMFAR in 2011.

 

 

 

 

Although this waistcoat is not a genuine corset per se, it has some interesting “corsetty” aspects (the ribbon cincher panelling, the front busk, the back laces) so I thought it would be interesting to compare this piece (which is the product of a mainstream fashion designer) and see how it measures up in the context of my normal corset reviews.

It is actually well-constructed with lovely muted fabrics and surprisingly strong despite the tiny eyelets and the lack of a true strength fabric, and the sparingly-used acrylic boning kept the lines smooth, so I was pleasantly surprised. 

My one mild annoyance was at the faux pockets actually, as I prefer not to carry around handbags and would love to see more women’s clothing with useable pockets – but I can understand how having functional pockets on such a small and fitted garment might ruin the silhouette or stretch out the lining. But all in all, I’m pleased with this garment and will be keeping it in my wardrobe as a fun accessory and a nod to corsetry.

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Corset Connection (Versatile) Snapdragon Underbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Versatile Corsets Snapdragon underbust Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Front is about 9.5 inches long, center half is 10.5 inches. Slim silhouette. This corset is quite short, just ending at my iliac crest – if you have a longer torso, I recommend the Dita underbust which is a more longline version of this. The top line of this corset comes up around the sides of the bust, which pushes the bust forward and together, and can help flatten any “side muffin top”. The back then scoops back down.
Material 3 main layers: the lining is 100% cotton black American coutil, fashion fabric is a heavyweight purple satin and it has a rose lace overlay. Boning channels are black satin.
Construction 5 panel pattern. Coutil is flatlined/rollpinned to satin and lace layers; top-stitching between panels (seams are double-stitched at minimum), external boning channels. Also contains 8 garter tabs.
Binding Black binding that matches the external boning channels, made from bias strips of black satin.
Waist tape 1″ wide petersham waist tape exposed on the inside.
Modesty panel Attached 7″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back, covered in black satin, stitched on one side of the corset; unstiffened placket under busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 8″ long (4 pins), with a flat steel bone on each side.
Boning 22 total steel bones not including busk. On each side, 8 spirals (1/4″ wide) double boned on the seams, 2 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets and another flat bone beside the busk.
Grommets 28 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets. This type of grommet is my personal favourite used in American-made corsets.
Laces This particular corset has purple ribbon, about 1/2″ wide 
Price Currently $358 USD for the standard size on the Versatile website.

Final Thoughts:

This is the second of several corsets I will be reviewing for Versatile Corsets/ Corset Connection. The samples will later be returned and sold at great discount.

There are a few things I like about this corset, and a few things I would change if I had the opportunity to get it custom made. Aesthetically I do prefer the more dramatic silhouettes, so if I were to go back and purchase this, I would likely have it made-to-measure, and in a smaller size (the one in the video was a size 26″) so that I could have a bit more curve in the waist (more like the lavender version seen left, instead of some of the other styles seen in their gallery on their product page).

The thick halter strap was comfortable around my neck; it’s made of a smooth-yet-strong matte black satin that can be adjusted with bra hooks. I didn’t personally find that the straps pulled too much on my neck, and I was able to keep my shoulders and my neck back – however, for those with forward-head posture looking for a solution, this corset will not miraculously help. I like how the fabric of the corset wraps up and around the side of the torso, which both helps to flatten any breast tissue that wraps around the side and in the armpits, and for those with smaller busts this cut helps to lift the bust and push it together to create cleavage. 

 The Snapdragon corset is available in various colour combinations as you can choose the main fabric, have a choice of lace overlay if you wish, then choose the type of trim, external boning channels, and binding – they can all be different fabrics if you wish! I’m glad that I had the opportunity to see the differences in construction between the various different corsets depending on the styling choices.

Overall, I am glad I had the opportunity to try on this corset. However I think the Dita underbust is a little more suited to my figure, as I have a longer torso. (I will be reviewing the Dita underbust several weeks from now!) To see other models in the Snapdragon corset, Versatile has a small gallery so you can see how it fits different people. You can see it on their website here.

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Versatile Corsets Valerian Overbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Versatile Corsets Valerian Overbust Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Front is about 16″ inches long, and full length is 17″ over the bust. Modern Elizabethan or slim silhouette (*although please read the Final Thoughts section). A bit of a longline corset; comes over the hips and includes expandable hip ties. Good for women with an long torso; shorter torso probably not advised to wear this unless you get custom sizing. Will accommodate at least E cups, has a demure neckline and built-in off-the-shoulder adjustable straps that can accommodate broader shoulders. Has a high back that gives no opportunity for muffin top.
Material 3 main layers: the lining is 100% cotton American coutil, fashion fabric is a heavyweight satin that is possibly interfaced (I didn’t take it apart) and it has a tulle/lace overlay.
Construction 5 panel pattern. Unique pattern which gives a very flat front yet accommodates a full hip and bust; almost all the panels are angled in a V-shape towards the bottom front. Coutil is flatlined/rollpinned to satin and tulle; top-stitching between panels (seams are double-stitched at minimum), external boning channels. The seams that contain the hip ties are lock-stitched as it helps the seam lay flat and gives a neater finish. Also has 8 garter tabs.
Binding Black binding that matches the external boning channels, made from bias strips of satin.
Waist tape 1″ wide petershame waist tape exposed on the inside.
Modesty panel Attached 6″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back, covered in the same silver satin and tulle overlay, stitched on one side of the corset; unstiffened placket under busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 13″ long (6 pins), with a 3/8″ wide flat steel bone on each side. The rest of the length on top of the busk includes grommets to tie at the bustline.
Boning 22 total steel bones not including busk. On each side, 8 spirals (1/4″ wide) double boned on the seams, 2 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets and another flat bone beside the busk.
Grommets 34 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets. This corset has a very long back, hence so many grommets.
Laces Strong nylon cord-style laces; they’re thin, strong and they are long enough but quite slippery.
Price Currently $438 USD for the standard size on the Versatile website (right now they’re having a 20% off sale on all their corsets – enter the coupon code FIREWORKS).

Final Thoughts:

This is the first of several corsets I will be reviewing for Versatile Corsets/ Corset Connection. I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to meet the owner of both sister sites, and she was generous to loan me these samples for review. The samples will later be returned and sold at great discount.

I do notice one difference in the construction of this one compared to the Mimosa (which I had reviewed last year) – the waist tape in the Valerian is exposed. I speculate that this difference is due to the Valerian having external boning channels instead of having the bones sandwiched between multiple layers; whereas my Mimosa overbust has the bones sandwiched between multiple layers. If the tape on the Valerian corset were sandwiched between the coutil and the fashion fabric, it may have left an undesirable outline on the outside of the corset.

Aesthetically I do prefer the more dramatic wasp-waist silhouettes, so if I were to go back and buy this again, I may invest in a smaller size. I was not the right model to show off the curves of this corset effectively because it’s a size 26″, and I could probably fit a size 22″ with the proportions of this standard-size corset. It’s very roomy in the bust and the hip ties can accommodate 6-8 extra inches in the hips. To the left you’ll see this exact same corset on a model who fills it out more appropriately.

 The Valerian corset is available in various color combinations as you can choose the main fabric, have a choice of lace overlay, then trim, external boning channels, and binding. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to see the differences in construction between the various different corsets depending on the styling choices.

Overall, I am glad I had the opportunity to try on this corset. Although I usually prefer Victorian, Edwardian or 50’s wasp-waist styles, this Elizabethan-inspired corset was lovely to try on and the construction was a joy to study. I’m tempted to try other Elizabethan-inspired corsets in the future. To see other models in the Valerian corset, Versatile has a small gallery so you can see how it fits different people. You can see it on their website here.