Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hubcaps or plate?

Two words that make no sense together? Not if you're a fencer.

The chest protector is seldom seen and so perhaps it's an odd place to think about fashion, but the plain white surface begs for embellishment, even if it's only visible for a moment while suiting up.

Custom painting could be fun. Make it look like a superhero uniform, or use a daring trompe d'oeil effect to startle opponents.

Anna Piaggi in sweater with breasts woven into the pattern
(Credit: The New York Times)

You could even go whole hog and make it up like a Viking metal brassiere - because that is, after all, what it feels like!

Obviously, I find the full plate too uncomfortable and stick to hubcaps, even though they provide less coverage.

Perhaps a compromise between comfort and coverage could be found by putting the hubcaps in a modified pair of early nineteenth century "short stays":

Or, for maximum style AND safety, why not try fencing in a full corset?

Stay with me here. One of my historic costuming email lists started a long thread on the feasibility of fencing in corsets when "The Mask of Zorro" came out in 1998. The conclusion: not only would it be possible, but a well fitted corset could also potentially provide back support.

I'd give this a whirl. For science.

- Allison


  1. The figure or face of an owl would work well as a (disconcerting) decoration too ... those huge staring eyes ...

  2. That WOULD be startling!

    I was also thinking double targets but, no, that might be too encouraging to opponents...