From reserved to risque: corsets in fashion

Sherilyn Hunter was selling wedding gowns when she discovered that a tantalizing opportunity lay beneath the chiffon and satin.

Sherilyn Hunter was selling wedding gowns when she discovered that a tantalizing opportunity lay beneath the chiffon and satin.

“Every bride I had needed bridal lingerie,” recalled the Sylvan Lake woman. “And then, of course, they need an event for the stagette party or for the girlfriends just to get together.

“From wedding and bridal wear, it went into wedding lingerie, which went into corsets.”

So began Eternity Corsets, which grew out of Hunter’s home-based business, Eternity Gowns. Through it, customers can even arrange for corset parties at their residence or in a boudoir room in Hunter’s home.

Their options range from reserved to risque.

“There are pretty traditional corsets, and there’s leather and lace, leather and studs — more of a biker look,” she said.

Hunter also makes accessories, such as masks. And if you’re having trouble finding something like a dominatrix outfit, she can help out there as well.

Eternity Corsets has exhibited at The Taboo Naughty But Nice Show in Edmonton, and at wedding shows in Lacombe and Ponoka.

It’s slated to take part in The Taboo Naughty But Nice Show in Red Deer April 5 to 7, where it will conduct stage presentations every day.

“You’d be surprised at the market here,” said Hunter. “It’s huge!”

That’s because many of the products she carries are tough to find in local stores. That includes plus-size lingerie, which Eternity Corsets specializes in.

Originally from Saskatchewan, Hunter attended high school in Lacombe and then completed the fashion merchandising program at Olds College in 1989.

After working in Red Deer for a few years, she spent a decade in Australia and them moved to Vancouver.

Hunter remained active in the fashion industry throughout, focusing on ladies’ apparel and even designing elegant dresses for young girls at her own studio in Vancouver.

About three years ago she returned to Central Alberta to be closer to family, and started Eternity Gowns soon after.

Hunter is optimistic about the potential for her increasingly diversified business. Many of her customers find her via referrals, and she doesn’t dismiss the possibility of operating out of a stand-alone store someday.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com