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Southern Exposure
Southern Exposure


A Wearable ArtJo wearing Flora

Jo has been researching and making historical clothing, and in particular corsets, for more than ten years. From the beginning she wanted to re-create the traditional methods of personally fitting corsetry. "Corsets are such an exact fit that even two people with the same basic measurements can have quite a variation in the finished shape of their corset once fittings have been completed. A good part of the modern perception that corsets were uncomfortable or even extremely painful to wear comes from people wearing mass-produced corsetry not designed for their shape."

Jo produces custom designed and fitted steel-boned corsetry in Christchurch under the label Bastet Creations. "For me the joy of the job is working with a customer to bring their ideas to life and produce a garment that is purely for them and absolutely fitted to them. I have made corsets for women and men from a size six to a size twenty-six, and it is a delight to see every one of those clients look in the mirror and say ‘Wow, I look fantastic!’ In these days of low self esteem and poor body image I count that as a real achievement. Having such a personal, individual piece of clothing made is to my mind a wonderful way of saying ‘I love my body.’”

Jo draws her designs from throughout history, from the Elizabethan period to the beginning of the 20th century. Her corsets range from exacting historical replicas to modern wearable arts and fetish/fantasy interpretations. In February 2006 she staged an exhibition of her work entitled “Body Construct” at The Christchurch Arts Centre, which attracted more than 3000 visitors.

Check out Jo’s website here.