What Lies Beneath, 2018

Responding visually to the controversial alternative corsetry usage by women living in the Victorian age. In this Industrial era, groups of women who tightlaced were once described as ‘degenerate cults,’ crazed by utilising their corsetry in a mode undirected by medical professionals and society. At this time, doctors revealed that women could use their corsets to tightlace for pleasure, enabling women to have heightened self orgasms, according to Walter Gallichen’s research on sex hyperaesthesia and tightlacing. These so-called ‘degenerates’ used what restrained them and reinterpreted their under garb to serve themselves in achieving ultra-orgasmic pleasures. This visual story also nods to the constant ritual of washing and restorination of corsetry as they become soiled, represented via bubbling skin care masks for heightened purity. This story opens with a barechested woman, who all the while simultaneously acknowledges and praises the laces in which those Victorian women who so innovately and rebelliously re-interpreted their clothing in secret.

(Photography/Styling: Julian DuFour)
(Model: Liza Keane)