Clarity - Shaping the Body with a PVC Corset Dress

Every year, around the first Monday of February, the deadline arrives for the Foundations Revealed competition. This event inspires creators across the world to concoct some new garment based on a given theme, all in the spirit of pushing oneself to the next levels in design, sewing, and presentation. In 2019, the theme was “Architecture”, and this is what led me to create this transparent PVC corset dress.

Titled “Deconstruct” based on one of the forms of architecture that I tend to find myself most attracted to - deconstructivism, though brutalism is an equal favorite - I completed this experimental garment on Saturday evening, just in time to photograph and edit the visual portion of the entry on Sunday. More details on the construction and struggles behind this corset dress will come soon, but to start, I wanted to present you with a glimpse at how a corset made of this type of material can shape the body.


For the sake of modesty, I chose to create an “underdress” of sorts for this corset dress. However, it’s also worth pointing out that PVC is a horribly tacky material that resists being laced up when in direct contact with the skin. Instead, if one tries to wear such a garment without a corset liner, the plastic simply sticks to the flesh and is nearly impossibly to lace up, instead creating a strange, lumpy situation that is both unflattering and uncomfortable.

While this PVC corset dress is dramatic as a concept, the form is really quite gentle. You can see here, between the images of the underdress only and the corset dress, the curves are enhanced somewhat, but by perhaps only a 2-3” reduction in the waist circumference. The garment was also designed with slightly loose/flared hips, which visually increases this measurement by about 1-2”. The end result is a more dramatically proportioned waist-to-hip ratio.


PVC is absolutely a material I’d like to work with more, especially in such an exploratory manner as this. It may not be a material suitable for waist training, but it certainly is a fascinating material to work with. More blog posts coming soon to discuss the construction aspects of this corset dress.

Oh! And if you’re curious about my Foundations Revealed competition entry, one aspect of it is already publicly available for you to view:

Heidi Wagner