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Parisian fashion designers and their extreme innovation

February 14, 2007, 6:45 AM

Marie_antoinette_2 This is probably the single most disturbing thing you will read on this Valentine's Day: an "innovative" Parisian fashion designer has decided that the waist-cinching corset should become the Next Big Thing in male fashion. In other words, take the picture above and imagine a bunch of French dudes with big beer guts wearing similar types of outfits. It's the type of mischievous story that routinely shows up on Yahoo! News (via AFP):

"After skirts, make-up and pantyhose for men, the corset, onetime symbol of women's oppression, might be the next big thing for fashion-conscious males. Young Parisian corset maker Sylvain Nuffer began cutting, stitching and boning corsets for men four years ago and now sells 30-odd standard models a year at 500 to 600 euros (650 to 775 dollars) a shot, 40 percent more when made to measure.

"I felt frustrated by the lack of choice of clothing for men," he told AFP. "I made one for myself and they kind of multiplied." Wearing jeans with a gray silk corset of his own making over a shirt and tie, Nuffer, who learnt the complex trade with his corsetiere mother, stands tall, waist nipped in, shoulders wide, back straight. Corsets for men have a history, he said, worn by medieval horsemen to protect the spine, adopted by bikers today for the same reason.

According to the article, the "real inspiration behind Nuffer's corset" dates back to the days of the 1789 French Revolution. Hence, the photo from Sofia Coppola's film Marie Antoinette, now available on DVD. (I decided at the last minute against a racier picture from Frederick's of Hollywood. This is, after all, a PG-rated, family-oriented web site!)

[image: Marie Antoinette]

 

Parisian fashion designers ...

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