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LONDON — British women are taking style inspiration from Rihanna and Lady Gaga by raiding intimates departments for intricate corsets to wear to the disco.

This story first appeared in the December 14, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Selfridges’ Oxford Street store reported a 70 percent sales increase of luxury fashion corsets in November compared with the same period last year.

“The trend of underwear worn as outerwear is more popular than ever with customers investing more in fashion that adds a touch of spice to everyday life,” said Helen Attwood, head buyer for lingerie at Selfridges.

For example, Bordelle’s monochrome girdle with white feathers protruding from the hip, which retails for 900 pounds, or $1,470, sold out within 24 hours of arriving in the corset shop area of the intimate apparel department. Sales of the label’s Angela Cage bandage slip, which sells for 365 pounds, or $596, increased 90 percent after Rihanna wore a similar ensemble at the American Music Awards on Nov. 22.

In response to the trend, the British-based lingerie label Myla pushed forward its Christmas corset launch by two weeks in an effort to maximize profits.

Sales of love-handle banishing support shorts by Spanx, which retail for 65 pounds, or $106, have seen gains of 60 percent in November against the same year-ago period throughout Selfridges’ stores in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

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