Fashion photographer Steven Meisel took model Stella Tennant to fetish extremes for a recent Vogue Italy shoot, The Discipline of Fashion. Yes, that’s actually Tennant’s waist tightlaced into haute couture corsetry for fashion’s sake. Don’t fret if you’re unfamiliar with corset fetish and tightlacing. It has nothing to to with bulimia or suicidal body dysmorphia – on the contrary, it’s in the range of fetishes that include endurance bondage for beauty and discipline, and various aspects of BDSM, role-play and erotic sensation play – as well as fetish dressing. A well-known contemporary fan of tight lacing is Dita Von Teese.
For this photo editorial, Meisel chose to pay homage to Ethel Granger (1905-1982) who enjoyed tightening herself into corsets that modified her waist up to the point of reaching a record measure of thirty-three centimeters (nearly thirteen inches), a record that hasn’t been broken. Granger was a fierce fetishist whose husband enjoyed both her corset fetish and her dozens of piercings – all done back in the 1950s when such things were kept secret, along with any playful pervert’s collection of then-new Bettie Page stag reels.