The Corset Is Making A Comeback To Red Carpet Fashion And We're Excited

The comeback of the corset is welcome — not because they are absolutely fabulous, which they are, but because this time around, we actually want to wear them!

Published On Mar 13, 2024 | Updated On Mar 13, 2024


If there ever was one garment that was the most associated item with women's oppression, it'll have to be the corset. Interlaced with the intricate tapestry of the fashion history, corsets have been around for ages. They're way older than you think; originating in ancient civilizations, the Minoans of Crete wore corset-like garments around 2000 BCE. The Renaissance era made them stiffer and the Victorian era converted them into an essential undergarment for women of diverse social strata. The tight-lacing was controversial and put in place to emphasise a smaller waist. The modern times saw a shift towards relaxed silhouettes, embraced as outer garments and fashion statements. And contrary to popular belief, not all corsets HAVE to be uncomfortable and/or painful. In fact, corsets are now tailored and crafted to fit various body types and a well made one will never leave you breathless (metaphorically yes, literally no). Granted if you're willing to give up on sitting or eating for those couple of hours. 

Which is why the extensive corset spotting on the red carpets of the biggest awards this year comes as no surprise. No, but a welcome sight because this time around, women (and men!) are choosing to wear them instead of being forcefully laced into on.  

Let's go back to where it all began… the Met Gala 2023. Corsets took center stage at the gala which was a dazzling tribute to the late fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld. Alton Mason stunned in bridal Chanel, while Ashley Graham took a sculptured Harris Reed mermaid gown featuring a satin corset out for the night. Dua Lipa, the Met Gala co-chair, also wore an archival Chanel corset dress, and Yara Shahidi left the internet awestruck in a Jean Paul Gaultier ensemble that seamlessly blended a half corset with couture flair. 

The Met Gala almost set a tone for the rest of the year with the 2023-2024 award season being the biggest early adaptor of the trend. Most recently seen on Anya Taylor-Joy in a Maison Margiela Artisanal 2024 ensemble designed by John Galliano at the Dune 2 premiere. The look comprised a black dress with aquarelled tulle and silk crin bands, layered over a lamé antique fabric cut into a bias-cut siren dress.

Then at the Oscars 2024, her co-star Florence Pugh showed up in a stunning silver gown from Del Core’s Spring/Summer 2024 ready-to-wear collection. The show-stopping ensemble boasted a structured corset that seemed both sheer and ethereal, with straps that delicately avoided her shoulders. So did Emily Blunt in Schiaparelli and Kendall Jenner at the Vanity Fair after party… corsets have been EVERYWHERE.

So why the sudden love for corsets you may ask? Turns out it's the product of a major runway trend which is quite rare give most runway trends only ever make it to the red carpet if they are TOTALLY wearable! Dilara Fındıkoğlu, who wowed fashion loves with her collection of corsetry-led deconstructed jackets and skirts, did so with the notion to re-invent the garment. John Galliano, the visionary behind the 2024 Paris Couture Week Maison show, presented a stellar collection featuring cinched corsets, presented Galliano's woman as an ethereal being, strong yet emotionally intelligent. Even Versace, the legacy fashion house enjoying a resurgence in popularity with the Gen Z, played with silhouette plenty in their 2024 runway presentations. 

Celebrities are wearing corsets because the best designers and fashion houses of our current times are making them. It's literally the product of our times, which means that the next time someone remarks on the “old world” charm of your corseted top, you can tell them that “Actually, they're not such a throwback after all!” 

Photo: /InstagramAndrewMukamal