Stay the Course
A “stay” was the word of choice for the understructure later referred to as a corset in the 19th-century. Today, the corset conjures up notions of tight-laced, wasp-waisted hourglass figures, however, the stay of the 18th-century was intended to lift the breasts and straighten the back rather than nip in the waist. The chemise served as a barrier between the wearer and the stay, which was never worn directly against the skin. Making a nod to the stay-over-the-chemise method of underdressing, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino would send what would resemble a woman in her underwear to the 18th-century eye, down the runway for their Spring 2015 Couture collection.