Vivenne Westwood’s iconic corset tops were inspired by the shape of 18th century stays, which as you can see from these historic examples, have a similar conical shape and shoulder straps. Westwood’s version is clearly modernized and uses Lycra fabric and a zipper rather than laces.
Westwood first designed these corsets in the late 1980s — this is the “Statue of Liberty” ensemble from her Fall 1988 "Time Machine" collection at the Museum at FIT.
Then in the 1990s she released designs with 18th century paintings that really emphasized the 18th century inspiration in the silhouette. Like this one from the 1990 'Portrait' collection and this one from her Fall 1993 Collection.
And Vogue named these the most popular piece of vintage of 2019.
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