Needles found: one last corset book


But wait!  There’s one more!

A few weeks ago, Denise and I posted a “Needles in the Stacks” which reviewed the library’s books about making corsets.  When I combed StyleCat, there was one more book that looked like it belonged with this group.  When we were writing, however, it was checked out of the library.  It has come back now, so I am adding one last review to that earlier post.

lauder corsetsCorsets, A Modern Guide, by Velda Lauder

5th floor Main stacks GT 2075 .L383

This is a small-format book, suggesting that it’s aimed at the gift market, or at fans of the author.  Like many memoirs, it rambles idiosyncratically and sometimes off the path.

lauder red rose
Lauder’s work: black silk and red lace underbust corset, sales photo

The best things about this book are the history of modern corsetry presented here (modern defined as post-WWII, with a short nod to the development of the bra, late 19th century) ; The other is the author’s retelling of London scenes from the mid-1970s onward.

Lauder talks about Vivienne Westwood’s influence, the effects of new materials on styling, the rise of the new burlesque, the distinction between corset wearing (for support and style) and tightlacing (a fetish).  She addresses the absorption of the corset into punk, then goth, then the fetish worlds.  She also talks about Mr. Pearl, the world’s best known corsetier, Gaultier’s and Mugler’s creative use of corset-like shaping, and their successors.  The section on recent design and unexpected materials is quite good.  The last section, about actually fitting and wearing a corset,  seems out of place in a history/memoir, but the author is, afterall, a corset entrepreneur first and foremost.

The author’s history of pre-corseted wear is where this book runs into trouble.  While she includes some  contemporary quotes, she also repeats a lot of old, incorrect anecdotes.  Several times she also interprets Victorian images as historic primary sources, arriving at mistaken conclusions.

kylie in gaultier
Gaultier corset for Kylie Minogue show. Lauder discusses his importance to the corset market.

I personally liked the gossipy parts of this book best.  She includes testimonials from  lots of her clients, thus providing insiders’ views to the corseting craze of the 80s-00s.  Denise’s favorite thing about it was the wealth of color images.  For those, we recommend you take a look at this book.

Ms. Lauder died suddenly in 2013 at the age of 49.

Memories of Velda Lauder’s business

A moving fan tribute to Lauder


Thanks for reading,

Denise & Beth

Denise n Beth







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Magazine of the Week

Hi, all!

This week’s Magazine of the Week is really a pattern catalog:

moda marfy1116

Marfy is a pre-drawn clothing patterns company.  Think Vogue or Burda.  The company was established in 1966, and specializes in high-style womenswear.  It also claims to be the first pattern company in Italy to sell patterns for special occasion wear.

When we subscribed to this magazine for the FIT Library, we hoped it would provide interesting flat shapes for students in Fashion Design and Product Design classes.  Whether you’re looking for the flats, the styling, or the illustrations, this title isn’t one that many American libraries have.  We have issues going back, sporadically, into the 1980s.

Moda Marfy record in StyleCat

Come take a look!

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Magazine of the Week

Hey, everyone!

Here is this week’s Magazine of the Week!


The internet has changed how we get the news so dramatically that magazines like this have been sort of left behind.  Time, and it’s compadres U.S. News and World Report (with slightly more conservative viewpoints) and Newsweek (slightly more liberal viewpoints) are major news aggregators, valued for an incisive summation of the week’s news.  Their specialty was (and continues to be, just in different format) knowledgeable writing describing the ins and outs of news items, as well as the effects these will have on our future.

This is the section of the Periodicals by Subject list that covers news-related titles like these:

We are fortunate to have databases of news sources that index articles from multiple magazines and newspapers, making subject searching a whole lot easier than it used to be.  This is the group of those that address news-related topics:

Come up to PERS and take a look!

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