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September 22, 2005

What a waist


Carmen Kass showed off a Roland Mouret number to good effect, a "petrol-blue, wasp-waist outfit so pneumatic, so curvaceous, so goddamn hot that women (and, I fully expect, a few men) fell for it in droves." What a pity this look is an exception and not the rule. Mimi Spencer mourns for women's waists, lost to changing fashion and body-types. Let's pretend for the sake of argument we don't notice some of the following only just predate Virginia Woolf. Though perhaps it represents a tipping point (jokes about critical mass will be given the arched-eyebrow treatment).

Replay in your mind the iconic images of womankind, and the waist plays a starring role. Think of The Rokeby Venus by Velázquez, our heroine with her back to the viewer, boasting an ample pair of buttocks and a wonderful, slender waist. Or The Swing by Fragonard, an erotic conflation of billowing skirts and minuscule, embrace-me waist. Fast forward to Scarlett O'Hara clutching the bedpost as she was sardined into her stays. Think of Dior's New Look, or Marilyn, with her man-trapping 22-inch waist (19 when corseted). Or Brigitte, or Liz Taylor, before kaftans and Virginia Woolf.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at September 22, 2005 08:47 AM

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Lovely. The female waist is a much underappreciated beauty.

However the art of the corset is not lost: take a boo at Gisele Bundchen here

Posted by: Jay Currie [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 22, 2005 02:45 PM