Nashville corset makers dress country music, TV stars

Nashville corset makers dress country music, TV stars

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At "Ani & Ari" in Nashville, sisters Ariel and Danielle Tredway make custom corsets for some of the biggest names in country music and television. At "Ani & Ari" in Nashville, sisters Ariel and Danielle Tredway make custom corsets for some of the biggest names in country music and television.
Actress Hayden Panettiere strutted her stuff in a corset designed by the sisters on a recent episode of "Nashville". Actress Hayden Panettiere strutted her stuff in a corset designed by the sisters on a recent episode of "Nashville".

By KRISTIN FARLEY 
6 News Anchor/Reporter

NASHVILLE (WATE) - The thought of wearing a corset might make you cringe, but they are showing up a lot more these days and this time around corsets are making a comeback as more comfortable and fashionable "outerwear".

At "Ani & Ari" in Nashville, two sisters are making custom corsets for some of the biggest names in country music and television.

If you watch the new hit show "Nashville", you have likely seen some of their work.

In the show's second episode, actress Hayden Panettiere strutted her stuff in a corset designed by the sisters, who recently launched a Tennessee business.

"We never could have ever dreamed we would be making something that would be on TV or on a celebrity," said Danielle Tredway.

She and her sister, Ariel, are the power duo behind Ani & Ari.

The pair sketches, cuts and sews every element of their corsets. While they strive for a modern day feel, they also rely on centuries-old techniques.

"It's probably the most important material we buy for our corsets," Danielle said, holding up a piece of stiff, white fabric.

The fabric is imported French cotton coutil.

"The weave is really tight, really strong, not stretchy, it's durable," she said.

Danielle learned about materials, boning and grommets when she took a rare custom corset-making class in Chicago.

But it wasn't exactly the path the fine art major had dreamed of.

"I wasn't planning on ever touching a sewing machine, " she said with a laugh.

That quickly changed when she and her sister moved to Nashville and opened their business in February.

They now they spend at least 12 hours a day in their studio designing for some of the biggest names in country music.

Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and the Pistol Annies have all been photographed in Ani & Ari designs.

"To see it in on of our favorite stars, on stage, on TV, on a show, in the paper or magazine, it is just the most rewarding feeling," Danielle told us.

Their most recent success came after only eight months in business. The corset makers landed a prominent spot on the show "Nashville".

One of the show's stylists contacted them to make a custom item for Panettiere.

"She had this little, tiny pair of True Religion shorts that Hayden had. They were white jean and all jeweled up and [she said] 'We need something to wear with this'."

The sisters quickly got to work and one week later their creation was part of the show.

"I think we were both overwhelmingly excited," Ariel said. "Not just so excited that it was on her, but that she looked so amazing. She rocked it!"

Each corset can take one to four inches off your waistline, but these are designed not to feel as restrictive as you might think.

"We have redone all of our patterns," Ariel explained. "They don't suck your rib cage in as much as you think. Our custom patterns suck in only at the really soft spot at your waist and then leave room for hips and rib cage so you are comfortable."

The sisters said a lot of people, even their parents, questioned how the two, both in their early 20s, could launch a business solely based around corsets.

But now with their huge and almost instant success, it's safe to say some opinions have changed.

"I think people are scared of the word 'corset'," Danielle said. "But I think the South is really warming up to the idea of the corset as outerwear."

Ani & Ari corsets can run buyers several thousand dollars. The ladies have added custom zippers to some designs to make them easier to put on alone.

While visiting the sisters, 6 News also got a sneak peak of a sketch for a head-to- toe costume Miranda Lambert may wear next week during a performance at the CMA awards, so keep your eyes out for their designs at that event.

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