For lasting only around a decade, the Edwardian era has certainly left its stamp on a whole bustle of cultural areas. Art, theatre, and politics all experienced a grand "Belle Epoque" following the more rigid Victorian period. The most common terms i have heard associated with the span overseen by the reign of Edward the VII are "luxury" and "opulence". This of course draws my interest because the logical target and beneficiary of those two terms are the fashions designed and worn by females. Out of this stupendous catalyst for the ornate came the S-shaped corset, the hobble skirt, and more importantly the Edwardian high collar.
To quote the site Fashion in the Edwardian Era:
"...They were often shaped to reach as high as possible at the back of the jaw-line, just behind the ear, then dipped slightly at the back, under the hairline and in front, under the chin...Edwardian high collars were stiffened with collar stays of wire or whalebone and usually not with the stiff interlinings of the 1890s."
I make no claims to being a cultural historian, let alone a fashion historian, i'm merely obsessed with the art of rigidly immobilizing females in an aesthetically pleasing way. I don't know the precise ontology behind the desire to corset the neck and hold the head firmly in place, but i am an enormous fan. The feminine neck conjures up so many mimics, it's an interesting notion that the society of the early 20th century would strive to use the feature as an homage to itself. The very appearance of a woman's neck wrapped in a tightly boned garment calls out images of a vase or a chalice holding the beautiful creature's head. That they could walk around in the open bound like this astonishes me, and it leads me to wonder if because this practice was outmoded and hence chased into the underground that the modern fetishist's neck binding outcry is so vapid and mechanically rigid. I leave the following examples of images that fill my gut with lust as i peer at them (and hence has caused me to purchase several and commissioned a custom version).
A wonderful illustration drawn in the 50's by - i believe - John Willie (please feel free to correct me) which shows a girl in ultra-high heels, corset dress, armbinder, and what appears to be a posture collar.
This is an image from the defunct "Insex.com". What i have always seen as a difference between posture collars and neck corsets was the absence of boning and lacing. Posture collars usually have buckles as is seen here draped around the lovely model 411. She is also corseted, wearing a full-headed latex mask, arms in mitts in a reverse prayer, and in (my favorites) ballet boots.
Yet another version of a posture collar, from the old Devonshire Productions website. The entire ensemble gives me deep, soul caressing shivers. I especially like the touch of the pump gag.
neck corsets (i much prefer these over posture collars, thanks Eddy!):
This looks a lot like the leather neck corset i own. Mine is patent leather from Demask. This one comes to us from the wonderful LISA folks. I just adore how it fits her contours, holding her chin up in the air. She cannot look down unless she bends at the waist.
I wanted to include a rear view to show the lacing and the shape from behind. Doesn't this just make you purr?
As the neck corset begins to creep up over the chin, soon consuming the girl's mouth, i can feel a raunchy deviousness consume my moral character. This gorgeous creature comes to us also from the former Devonshire Productions site. The little tube that leads from the area of her mouth indicates another inflatable gag.
Before i first saw this final one, i seriously thought i'd seen all i could in the realm of neck corsetry and immobilization. It was unveiled at a Rubber Ball a few years ago by HW Design. The attachment that's going from her sternum to her chin is called a "screw" and can be adjusted to alter the tilt of the "silenced's" head. In addition to being diabolical, i believe this item is stunning.