I was never destined to be a normal woman. In fact, at a very early age, sexuality was a prominent factor in my personal make up. I think it had something to do with the Boris Vallejo pieces up in my father’s game room. Images of ripped, half naked women with enormous breasts in chains or prostrate upon the sword of a warrior left a very instinctive impression in my mind. I understood that the pictures were powerful. I understood that they were about the women, not the men. So as early as 9 or 10, I knew what sex was even if I couldn’t explain it. I also knew it was a way that women could get what they wanted.
I was never destined to be a normal woman ~ Victoria Lane
Clothing is a calling card. It projects who we are to the world at large. It states our mood, disposition, personality and interests. One could go so far as to extend the metaphor of clothing as the human version of a peacock’s plumage. After being brought up on a healthy diet of black and white movie classics and musicals, I grasped very quickly the power of fashion and the importance of fashion being a unique stamp of individuality. As a child involved in theater, the inspiration I had to draw on in this regard was a vastly different one than that of a normal kid confined to the mall or music videos. I was already a fetishist in the making, sporting an abnormal interest in high heels, vintage undergarments, and fancy stockings. All the underpinnings of historical clothing fascinated me just as much as the visible clothing on the outside.
The first time I was introduced to the corset outside of the pages of a novel was in my teens while doing a production of West Side Story. In order to fit properly into the dresses created for us, we had to use corsets to procure tiny waists. Most of the other girls complained about the garment being too restrictive. I, however, was instantly in love with the way I was reduced about the waist yet pushed up in the chest. As a girl with smaller breasts, and often teased for it, I felt like a woman. From a purely artistic point of view, I found that my character picked up mannerisms that I had never imagined on my own. It was an object lesson in the power of clothing both professionally as well as in regards to being a sexual creature.
I wouldn’t find myself clad in a corset for a good ten years after that though I did enjoy the equally strict embrace of a bodice during that time. Every time I would lace myself into one, I’d feel like a minx and powerful for that reason. The importance society has always placed on breast size, shape and placement was no less true in my youth. Suddenly having the curves I wasn’t born with gave me confidence to literally become someone else.
To this date, putting on a corset is a spiritually sexual act. The tightening of the garment as the laces are pulled in a merciless embrace that forces my posture to straighten, pushes my diminutive breasts upward and nips my waist inward above my hips makes me feel more like a woman than anything else I can think of. High heels follow a close second to that but are not as arousing. Unlike my sisters in the history of womanhood, I do not feel enslaved by the corset. I select to not only wear them but collect them. It is a symbol of my sense of glamour, my self possessed sexuality, and my erotic desires. As an artist, it represents a time when women were far more mysteriously delicate and feminine, yet powerful even in their second class citizenship. It is an instant connection to the aura I am very precisely trying to exude.
In fashion terms, the corset is a prominent fixture in various subcultures, created lovingly by companies such as Vollers , Meschantes , Dark Garden Azrael’s Accomplice , Versatile Fashions and more. Even individual performers who take pride in the tradition of sewing their own costumes, such as the lovely Vienna Le Rouge keep the garment alive in homage. They come in historical recreations as well as innovative new styles with accents never before dreamed of by designers of the past. Of course, these days, the corset is a brashly worn garment rather than one hidden beneath a frock. It is the center piece of an outfit and the item everything else is tailored around or even an accessory itself.
As for me, in recent years, the woman and the artist have merged to become the same person. My wardrobe quite literally runs the gamut from modern Hollywood chic to Victorian tart. Often times, I intermingle modern fashions with historical fashions to come up with a style that is uniquely my own. I no longer relegate the use of a corset for the stage, modeling or subcultures. I’ve been seen at some of the most stylish haunts in Beverly Hills among the “vanillas,” as we call them in our darker corners of society, sporting a corset. My love affair with the controversial undergarment shows no signs of fading.