Tla Logo

Inclusivity matters in lingerie too!
Enter your email below to discover our Top 20 Lingerie Brands (and get a free chapter of my book!):

We promise to never send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

Looking for the Perfect Lingerie Guide? Signed Copies of In Intimate Detail are Now Available!

Order Your Copy Today!

Signed copies of In Intimate Detail Are Still Available! Click here to buy!

Corset Style Watch: Hip Fins, Baby Panniers, and Floating Gores

Corset: Royal Black / Model: Ophelia Overdose

Corset: Royal Black / © Moritz Maibaum Photography / Model: Ophelia Overdose

I first became aware of hip fins on corsets via Sparklewren, though there are quite a few couture corsets (particularly corset bodies) that feature them. Though "hip fins" has become the commonly accepted name for them, I like to think of them as miniature panniers; they could also be considered a sort of floating gore or a stiffened semi-peplum. This detail generally parallels the iliac crest and emphasizes the dramatized hip spring.

Corset: Sparklewren / © Sean Elliott Photography / Model: Madame Bink

Corset: Sparklewren / © Sean Elliott Photography / Model: Madame Bink

This creation by Sparklewren was that which originally introduced me to the hip fin concept. I was so in love with it that I ended up buying the sample! The line of the top shaping of the corset also leads the eye towards the beautiful waist shaping and accented hip.

Corset: Pop Antique "Tease" / Photo © Morgan Marcani / Model: Victoria Dagger

Corset: Pop Antique "Tease" / Photo © Morgan Marcani / Model: Victoria Dagger

When I saw the photo on Facebook, the texture of the alligator leather looked (to my eyes) like a lacing detail. After talking to Jenni of Sparklewren and learning it was, in fact, a textured material, I realized I was projecting a very Pop Antique-esque design concept. I promptly executed it in the form of my "Flirt" cupped corset, which also has complementing waist lacing detail on the front bone casings. After the initial sample, I decided to make the baby panniers detachable in the name of versatility, as shown on the "Tease" underbust above.

Neon Duchess © Iberian Black Arts model Threnody in Velvet

Corset: Neon Duchess / © Iberian Black Arts / Model: Threnody in Velvet

Of course, one cannot discuss hip fins in corsetry without mentioning the incomparable Neon Duchess. Corsetiere Hannah Light has made this detail something of a signature, playing with layered fins in varied fabrics and textures, adding beading, and even incorporating an exaggerated floating hip spring into the body of her corsets.

Corset: Royal Black / © Moritz Maibaum Photography / Model: Ophelia Overdose

Corset: Royal Black / © Moritz Maibaum Photography / Model: Ophelia Overdose

As well as the beautiful "Pink Fairy" corset at the top of the page, Royal Black has many designs featuring hip fins. The Empress, shown directly above, is one of the newest designs from Royal Black. Its spiked semi-circles float in a manner that is even more exaggerated, anchored only at either end, lending an almost automotive feeling to an otherwise very feminine style.

Jane Woolrich Lingerie

Jane Woolrich Lingerie

Though the above style by Jane Woolrich Lingerie is only a very light corset, clearly not intended for any particular shaping, I do find its stiffened, wraparound peplum notable. This design is particularly reminiscent of a miniature pannier or crinoline rather than the more minimal fins.

Wyte Phantom pannier corset

Corset: Wyte Phantom

Wyte Phantom has made several corsets with miniature panniers built in. Notice how the frame of the panniers is a continuation of the bone channels. Wearing panniers exaggerates the sway of hips whilst walking, which will only be further emphasized by the dangling beaded trim along the bottom edge.

Corset: Ava Corsetry

Corset: Ava Corsetry / Photo: Anna Swiczeniuk / Model: Miss Betsy Rose

"Carmen" by Ava Corsetry styles its hip fins with sheer lace, held rigid by boning. This style is limited edition, available in sizes 20-28".

Corset: Sparklewren / © Sean Elliott Photography / Model: Tessa

Corset: Sparklewren / © Sean Elliott Photography / Model: Tessa

What do you think of the hip fin style?  Do you have any corsets with floating hip detail? How do you style them?

Marianne Faulkner

Marianne Faulkner is the designer of Pop Antique, a clothing and corsetry line specializing in sustainable materials and comfortable curves. She is based in San Francisco where she earned her MFA in fashion design at the Academy of Art University, and has been a columnist at The Lingerie Addict since 2011.

5 Comments on this post

  1. Alessandra says:

    I recently found a vintage corset and I’ve realized that it isn’t a typical form. It seems the closures (clasps) go on the left front of my body and the lace ups on my right front. The corset goes from my underbust to mid hip (covering part of my bum). I can’t find any info on what type of corset this would be and how it would shape my body/how should I lace it. Help!? Please

    • Cora says:

      Hi Alessandra,

      I also received your Facebook message. As mentioned there, without a photo of the garment, it would be difficult to tell you more about it. You can also try asking a corsetry or historical fashion group on Facebook though they will likely request photos as well.


  2. Laurie Tavan says: Here is an example of a historical Victorian corset with “fins”. In fact this design was functional and Madame Caplin patented it as the “petticoat suspender”, a functional design in which you could button on your petticoats to remove bulk from the waistline! Here is an example but I did mine much bigger & decoratively:

  3. Lovely article :) Do you think I could get credits on the Ava Corsetry photo? Photographer: Anna Swiczeniuk Model: Miss Betsy Rose

    • Marianne says:

      Absolutely! The credits weren’t on the website and I *was* wondering a bit about them… Adding in now, thanks for the info. Lovely shot!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.