It’s been almost 2 years since (just after releasing my new stealth underbust style Heledd) I realised I had to shut shop. Not completely and not forever, but with a flurry of new and complex bespoke orders taking up an increasing amount of my focus I made a difficult decision that turned out to be the right one. Stopping orders on my made-to-order standard-size corsetry, where there was an expectation of speedy turnaround, and throwing myself fully into the deep and challenging bespoke work that was finding me.
Knowing that this really limited the people who would be able to afford and access my work was a hard choice, bespoke simply isn’t realistic for everyone, and let’s face it, sometimes it’s not the smart choice! If you’re just starting your corseting journey and don’t know what to expect, you might not feel confident to make the investment of time and funds into bespoke just yet.
It was with these sorts of clients in mind that I designed Heledd. She’s not a flashy broad, she’s versatile, a daily companion, incorporating the best of what I use on my bespoke clients daily wear stealth corsets to keep them discreet under clothing, with the convenience of a prêt-à-porter style. You will now be able to quickly and easily select your size and colour (we’re always just an email away if you need advice) and have your corset winging its way to you in the next post! No waiting lists, no fuss, just beautiful construction, ethically made.
I’ve been working with a talented team right here in Wales developing a beautiful refined finish on these pieces. This is my first foray into prêt-à-porter garments, so I’m starting with a small first run while I work out what our most popular sizes and colours are before we expand into more styles and an extended sizing range. So if you weren’t able to find your size this time do let us know, it’s very valuable for our next steps!
Increasingly I hear from clients that they want to use their corsets as foundation wear, a boost to their silhouette under a work suit, a wedding guest outfit, or an everyday ensemble where they just want to feel confident and supported. With this in mind you want to be able to tightlace without visible corset lines, and we can help with that!
You can now read about the style in full here (and order yours if you like, naturally) but this style is cut for curves and comfort, with minimal bulk for stealth-friendly foundation wear. Seams are smooth, the silhouette is flowing and flattering, and there is an hourglass cut to the ribs for wearability for new tightlacers. The idea is that you can begin your waist training journey with this style, turn to her for making that favourite outfit *pop* while you collect the compliments, rather than enquiries about your underwear! She’s also just a sleek, versatile corset that you can style up any way you choose to. A simple black Heledd over a floaty dress with a Matoro Sari belt or harness bra layered on top? Devastatingly glam.
I hope that some of my bespoke clients may even find that Heledd is a good addition to their tightlacing regimen, some basics to add into a regular lacing schedule, or even an extra corset to test out nighttime training. As I’ve written before, it’s advisable to have at least two corsets when tightlacing 23/7, so you can air one out while you wear the other, preventing perspiration being trapped against the skin for too long.
Quite aside from how flattering and comfortable a style this is, I wanted to start with Heledd as our production “virgin” because of the deceptive simplicity of this design. There is nowhere to hide with Heledd, all the construction details are in full view, so I knew if we could get this right, we would be starting from a solid foundation for all our future pieces. I’ve been able to work alongside the team in house for sampling, and it has been an eye-opening process, watching the 44 years of experience of the head seamstress pour into this project. I have learned so much in those walls and came away from our sessions fizzing with ideas.
Some of you will know how important UK manufacture is to me, and there is a whole blog post in the works about our traditions here in beautiful garment making, even within my lifetime (Ever heard of Laura Ashley? It used to all be made 30 miles from where I live!). But being able to work with a Welsh team that are as perfectionist about their craft as I am is a deep privilege. In the past when we’ve discussed having corsets made out of house I have felt concern about how much I would really know about working conditions for the people involved in making the corsets, the logistics and carbon footprint of working overseas at scale. A million things felt too unknown for me to truly feel confident and happy about going down that route. Knowing the names and faces of the people involved, being able to deliver the components myself, supporting our local economy, all these things solidified my resolve to push forward with this big step.
If you’re still reading I also want to give an honourable mention to Sally Sparrow Photography and our model Cariad Celis for their stellar work on our campaign photoshoot, the results of which you’re enjoying in this blog post! My favourite thing about working with Sally is how a shoot evolves on the day. I usually have a vague concept of what I’d like the images to look like, but as this isn’t something I’m usually especially wedded to, we will often follow the muse, the light, and the moment to something far greater than I’d imagined. This was one of those days, where our wonderful location kept dropping gifts at our feet. A pool of light in the majestic stairwell (I could have shot there all day) Wood panelling that perfectly toned with two of our corsets, and a little library ladder that brought back all my “Beauty and the Beast” joy as a child. Our model Cariad was an absolute trooper as well, arriving early so we could catch the morning light and seemingly reading Sally’s mind half the time! An undeniably graceful, enigmatic presence on camera and a sweetheart to boot. It was a wonderful day seeing the designs come to life on her.
I hope you find the Heledd stealth corset is the companion you don’t know how you managed without! I’m extremely proud of her and I look forward to seeing all your “where’s the corset” selfies with smooth curves under your favourite outfits.