View the Whole Line of Scarlett Gasque Corsets, Robes, and More
Scarlett Gasque image from the campaign shot by Ellen von Unwerth
“I feel so good. I thought I was going to be nervous. But I was in the moment; it felt surreal. The best part was seeing the girls wear my work and seeing how they styled it.” It’s the morning after the launch of designer Chloé Rogers’ brand, Scarlett Gasque,” and the designer is positively glowing over lunch at The Connaught Hotel. The night prior, she hosted friends, family, and work colleagues—present and future—at Claridge’s for an evening of burlesque entertainment and canapés while models strolled through the crowd with cinched waists and hourglass figures courtesy Scarlett Gasque corsets. Rogers’s family had flown in for the occasion, including her mother Suzanne Rogers, glamorous in head-to-toe Chanel, and Ellen von Unwerth was also at the evening to support the designer. And while the iconic photographer had shot Rogers’ debut campaign, she kept snapping photos all night.
“I got the idea [to design corsetry] when I was studying fashion history at Central Saint Martins. I fell in love with corsetry, especially burlesque dancers,” starts Rogers who often peppers her sentences with “niche, special, a piece, and intimate,” when describing her brand and the world it belongs to. “Something I noticed—and I would go all over Europe to watch the Burlesque shows—was that either there was no traditional corsetry [corsets made with zippers] or, it was too traditional in that it was too structured and not for the every day woman.” Rogers sought to combine the two worlds and Scarlett Gasque was born. “Traditional corsets had 17 or 18 bones. The boning is what cinches you in. Our yellow corset has 11 bones and our pink corset has 14 bones.” Of her work, she nods, “It’s all metal,” adding that most corsets are made with plastic. “The main thing I wanted to do, was create something that women would wear as part of an outfit but that at night, would become the whole lingerie look,” she says of her collection that launches with 11 pieces centered around the corset. Below Vogue Arabia speaks to Chloé Rogers about making her years-long vision a reality.
Scarlett Gasque pearl basque corset
Did you have an “Aha moment” when you decided you wanted to make corsets?I have a photo hanging in my room that my mom gifted me. It was shot by Ellen von Unwerth and it’s actually has her daughter in the photo when she was young. There is a lady wearing a huge dress, and the daughter is styled in the same way. It’s very Marie-Antoinette but almost messy in a way, it’s not done up. I started looking into the dress and then the time period, and then I came across Dita Von Teese—I didn’t know anything about Burlesque – I mean I was 14 at the time and such a tom boy, I only shopped at Quick Silver and I was into skateboarding and I did BMX. I just started learning about it. It was never about the lingerie, it was about the lifestyle.
What is the lifestyle?In Miami, at the Faena hotel, they do a big show—it’s a mix of acrobatics, burlesque, and cabernet all in one. Every night before going out, I had to see the show. These women are so amazing. They are so fabulous and empowered and glamorous. I just fell in love with women loving themselves in such an expressive way. I ended up doing my dissertation on feminist politics within burlesque. Lydia Thompson, she was the first burlesque dancer . She was fully covered, but she showed her ankles and she would make fun of the boys—like you guys are ridiculous. Josephine Baker—another amazing woman. She used burlesque to fight racism. What she did was the same thing as Thompson—mocking people. She would dress up as the characters that men would put her down as, do a show, and then say, look at you , you love me. They would mock the standards that men put on women. If you watch some of the old shows or read scripts—what they would say was highly political. These were very intelligent women, and they would use comedy to get their political views across.
Scarlett Gasque pearl basque corset
The collection appears like French macarons in romantic pink, powder blue, citrine yellow… how did you come to this color palette?Growing up, I was a huge goth. I wore all black; very dark makeup. When I started attending school at Central Saint Martins, I saw everyone wearing these fabulous, colorful outfits, and it really shaped me to become the person I wanted to be. The more fun the better. I never want to wear black now. When it comes to lingerie, everyone buys black, red, or white. I always get inspired and excited when I pick out the unique piece, something that stands out. I feel like that’s what people remember. I wanted the pieces to pop and be exciting. The more exciting the better.
Scarlett Gasque dressing robe with faux fur lining
Your robe that you wore is lined in faux fur. Tell us more about how you came to that decision.Fur is a hard topic. I don’t think any brand should be making new fur; I’ve never bought new fur. But I do believe in recycling what exists from the past. Obviously when creating the collection, we had that conversation – and we decided to use faux fur. Also, a lot of fur is really dark and we wanted to die it blue or white. If I ever use fur in the future, it would definitely be second hand.
When women buy lingerie, one of the first things we ask ourselves is, “Will it fit?” Tell us about your sizing.Something that always frustrated me about the lingerie market is you couldn’t get an extra large size with a small cup or an extra small with a large cup. The iconic brands don’t have extra cup sizes. It’s a very small percentage of women who can fit into that category. All of our corsets can be purchased in every size depending on your cup. We range from extra small to extra large and I would like to expand on that even further. Already, you can buy an A cup and an extra large corset or an E cup with an extra small corset.
Scarlett Gasque Lace Corset
Scarlett Gasque Lace Corset with pearls
The corsets feature pearl accouterments. Tell us more.I feel like I got [the idea for] pearls from my mother. She always wore pearls while I was growing up. For years, I would wear pearl earrings; that was my thing. I always thought that pearls on women brought out their eyes. It made them whiter. You look glowier when you wear pearls. The whole idea was to highlight the face. I wanted them to be removable so that the girls can take them off, or drape them in the back, or wear them around the neck. Layer them. All the straps are removable.
Ellen von Unwerth and Chloé Rogers, designer of Scarlett Gasque. Photo Rowben Lantion
Tell us more about your vision for this campaign shot by Ellen von Unwerth.Ellen made my vision come to life. I had two ideas—I wanted to do a messy, Alice and Wonderland, garden, cupcakes, very Nineties Kate Moss look, and another idea was girls getting ready in the mirror, running down the stairs, hanging from the chandelier. Ellen said, “Why not do both and bring them together and create a story?” She can get a shot in two seconds but she perfects it. I was in awe watching her. Every shot, we were in the room for an hour, an hour and a half, and she wouldn’t stop until she thought it was perfect.
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