The Corset Work

What to Wear, Vol. 1: The Cultured Waist

(Her Valiant  Fight Against Time) © 2004-5

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Cover Corset back

Interior Dolls. Handmade with cotton fabric, with digital iron on transfer images.

Machine and hand stitched dolls connected with satin ribbon. Girdles connected cotton

corset trim ribbon.

Doll Height: 6 1/4”

Doll Width: 2 1/2”

Total length 7 dolls joined together: 22”

Text behind dolls detail

Vintage Cotton Bra

Height: 13” (including straps)

Width closed: 14”

Width opened: 28”

Antique Lace Salesman Sample Bra

Height: 6 1/2” (including straps)

Width closed: 5 1/4”

Width opened: 10”

Interior Dolls with girdles opened

Girdle Height: 3”  including garters

Girdle Width: 1 3/4”

If you would like any hi-res images of these photos, or if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me:

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Interior Dolls back detail

Images Copyright © 2006 by Tamar Stone.  All Rights Reserved.
No images may be reproduced without the expressed written permission of the artist.

This series of “What to Wear” books was inspired by a bra/girdle advertisement. The women in the ad looked so much like paper dolls, I decided to use their bodies and clothes as placards for all the platitudinous text that has been told to women over the decades.


When I read the ad from which “ The Cultured Waist” title came from (and I’m still not sure what
“culture” was being referred to) but like many woman before me who read that advertisement, I was also somewhat romanced (and sucked in) by the title, so much so, that I named this piece after it.


One of the girdle advertisements I was researching, informed me that “It is perfect because it is flexible.

It fits you as if it were part of you...” and “Rids you of unlovely bulges, thus inducing a Happier Mental Outlook.”  


When I was growing up and strapped into my scoliosis brace 24 hours a day, I couldn’t imagine any piece of clothing that could induce a “Happier Mental Outlook.” By using advertising text on these dolls – these women’s bodies and girdles become a type of billboard of the old advertising verbiage, giving me control over what is told to me and what I can choose to believe or not. The last doll states, “ you a comfortable, satisfying feeling of new life and vigor, and at the same time the streamlined, well-proportioned figure that radiates Womanly Magnetism.” I now know that what ever gives me my “Womanly Magnetism” comes from my own inner strength, and that I no longer need any “support” from outside sources to make me feel that confidence.

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