Spanish corset maker Maya Hansen enjoyed some well-earned international celebrity this year when Lady Gaga took a shine to her last collection, the compelling Reinas d’Espana set that featured digital prints of Renaissance monarchs.
As celebrity endorsements go, Gaga’s seal of approval is hard to beat. And her enthusiasm for Hansen’s very dramatic creations didn’t stop there: Lady G has already been spotted in one of the braided corsets from Hansen’s brand new Knotted collection which had its runway debut a couple of weeks ago at Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week.
At the risk of sounding blasé, Knotted is exactly what we’ve come to expect from this gifted designer: it’s completely unlike anything she’s done previously, requires phenomenal craftsmanship to execute, and reveals a fondness for exploring the fashion possibilities of unlikely niches in European history and culture.
The Knotted collection is all about texture, and draws its inspiration from old-world German braiding techniques and designs. The fabric is all synthetic (no human hair!) and configured in a variety of knots that are augmented by long fringes on many pieces.
The collection was almost certainly inspired by the first Créateur collection that Gaultier did for La Perla in 2010, with its miraculous maze of silk braids. But whereas Gaultier’s braided corset was a one-off, for Hansen it’s just a starting point to explore the structural possibilities of braided undergarments. Her 2012 collection includes several futuristic dresses that incorporate the knotted-braid idea, and the long, whip-like tassels add a lot of fun to what are otherwise very serious garments.
And we haven’t even mentioned the centerpiece of Hansen’s spring-summer collection. It’s called the ‘Crystal Corset‘ (above) and, as the name implies, it may very well be the last word in extravagance this season.
The Crystal comes with 6,000 Swarovski crystals in varying sizes and cuts that took 100 hours to apply by hand. No word on how many of these will be produced or what they’ll cost, but all of Hansen’s couture pieces are handmade and typically require detailed consultations with her atelier to ensure proper fit.
Here are a few looks at Maya Hansen’s Knotted corset series for 2012. You can learn more by visiting her website and shop.