FYI: Powernet (also called powermesh or powerknit) is a spandex net fabric, which you'll often see in girdles and bra backs. It comes in varying weights from light to heavy duty, so you can choose the amount of compression and control you want. It has much more stretch in the crosswise than lengthwise grain. I've located it online here and here, among other places.
Which brings me to the Galaxy Dress, Roland Mouret's famous design which has launched a thousand knock-offs. When I posted one of Mouret's dresses last week (as worn by the lovely Dita Von Teese), a commenter noted that the Galaxy would have had an inner corselet itself. I don't know why that had never occurred to me. I went on an internet hunt, and found that the Galaxy had a powermesh layer, that some sources describe merely as a "lining," while others make it sound like quite a contraption, like this quote:
The Galaxy's secret is its boned waist 'restrainer' which is made from an elastic fabric first used in 1950's underwear. The French power mesh flattens the stomach, nips in at the waist and gives the wearer a flattering hour glass figure.Anyway, it seems clear that powermesh was an integral part of the Galaxy's foundation, though perhaps we'll never know the exact construction . . . unless one of you has an old Mouret lying about that you'd like to take pictures of the inside for us?
But the story doesn't end there! In Spring 2010, Mouret debuted a powermesh slip that some claim is the base layer of the Galaxy dress.
In a season of nude illusion and lingerie effects, Mouret also came up with a practical device smartly developed from the "built" underpinning that was the secret ingredient in his famous hourglass Galaxy dress. Now he's selling the underlying power-mesh base as a body-control device in its own right: a skin-toned slip with a zipper in the side. "I think Spanx are great," he said, "until a woman gets home after the party. This gives a guy something to play with." [source]Herewith the magical item, which can be yours in nude or black for $475.
All I know is that this is a $475 slip. Wait, I also know that powernet costs $8-$10 a yard in the Garment District. Granted, it's probably not "French powermesh," which I'm sure is very fancy, right? Wait, never mind. It's just plain old nylon and spandex, just like any other powernet.
But this is all great news for us sewing plebians. We could come up with our own dresses complete figure-enhancing powernet corselets for a fraction of the Mouret cost! I imagine it would be a regular boned corselet made of powernet that extends into a skin-tight slip on the bottom, don't you think? I'd love to hear your interpretations.
Whew, have you ever heard someone go on and on (and on) about corselets as I do? Anyway, I'm loving the idea of a corselet sew-along, and I'm pondering it for the late summer/early fall when I'll be done with my book. More to come!