Black Friday, And A Little Moment Of Slow Creation.

Black Friday done right, a slowly made bespoke corset.
Halo Haynes wears the Artemis, shot by Artype Visuals

A Sprinkle Of Gold Dust On Black Friday

Black Friday is here again, folks! Brace yourselves for a whiplash turnaround after a global conference where we all agreed to consume less, and prepare for a frantic climate of deals and discounts. As in previous years, Orchid is not participating. I know from the wonderful reaction I’ve had from clients that you support this, and I feel so grateful! I fully back any independent brands that choose to take part, we all have to make a living after all. But for me, it stands against what I am for with this business. And that is making exquisite things slowly, with consideration and heritage. This with the understanding that someone will cherish, and feel empowered by each stitch and hand-tipped bone. You can’t rush that.

I thought long and hard about what to do as part of my quiet Black Friday non-observance this year. And I thought it would be fun to share with you a little of the process behind the velvet curtain. Or in my case, up the stairs in my attic lair! This is actually a piece I made at the start of 2020, and I photographed the different stages with the intention of making a little video of it. Naturally, this is something that fell by the wayside during the intense workload that came with the lockdowns. However, as it’s a corset that people still have a big reaction to, I thought it was worth reviving the idea! Scroll down to the bottom if you just want to watch the video without the chat.

The Artemis corset as an initial sketch with fabric selections.
Starting out with a sketch and some silks.

Sicily, Lockdowns and Silk Satins.

The original plan with this corset was for it to be a statement piece for the wonderful model Artemis Fauna, who was planning a photography trip to Sicily. I designed the piece with classic Goddess themes in mind. Soft warm shades, delicacy, richness and femininity. I also set myself the challenge of working with what I had in the studio, so this piece was designed around some remnant pieces of silk satin that blended together beautifully and had the desired effect of lending a feeling of otherworldly grace.

Sadly, as we journeyed towards March it became clear that Artemis was going to have to cancel her trip as airports closed and travel shut down. It was devastating for her, as such a significant part of her work was made impossible overnight. Thankfully, she has been able to shoot with it since! Here is a beautiful shot by David Brown from earlier this year.

Artemis Fauna in a lavish bespoke corset, shot by David Brown.
Artemis Fauna, shot by David Brown Photography

We were also lucky enough to send this corset to other models and photographers. There was a beautiful set from Halo Haynes and Artype Visuals which I thought should feature in the video, as they showcased the dreaminess of the corset so nicely! It’s a real joy to see how different artists interpret your work and bring out something new.

So without further ado, I give you the making of Artemis, from sketch to shoot. I hope this gives you some insight into the layers of technique involved in corsetry. And remember to shop small and slow this Black Friday!

Lingerie And Corsetry Gift Guide 2016

Close up of corsetry gift voucher

I know it still seems a long way away but Christmas gift giving is just around the corner! Luckily our gift guide is here to help you choose thoughtful, independent, handmade luxuries for the corset lover or lingerie addict in your life. This year we have gifts starting from just £20, and even if you are looking at overseas shipping, it’s not too late to wrap up an Orchid creation to go under the tree, even if it’s one of our beautiful gift certificates! But act swiftly to beat the busy post times that are fast approaching!

£20-£40 Gift Guide

This year we have been designing furiously to make sure that there are plenty of options in this price bracket! First up, we have our Trinity collars, available in black, ivory, or black lace and burgandy with your choice of gold or silver fittings. These pieces have proven really popular and give an instant edgy style boost to an outfit. We even have a new release for Winter with a more dramatic triple drop with rings of ascending size in vibrant indigo blue!

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We are really proud to offer mesh corset bags, made to match our custom colour Perle corsets, though we can take custom size and colour requests to suit an existing corset. These handy little bags allow the corset to be hung up in the wardrobe or stacked in a drawer, with an easy view of which piece is inside and no lacing tangling with other clothes! A lovely finishing touch to an order, but a great gift in itself.

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Our lace and mesh masks have gained a lot of attention since we brought them out this month! Delicate gold or silver lace overlays with a choice of black or ivory mesh for a seductive, sultry boudoir piece that lets you gaze upon the world through precious French lace. We also have a matching vivid blue eyelash lace mask ready to ship, that matches our indigo collars perfectly!

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£50-£100 Gift Guide

It’s easy to put a smile on someone’s face with one of our lingerie harnesses- available in black, ivory, scarlet, indigo and new for Christmas- baby pink! Choose silver or gold fittings and style on top of a day to day outfit or with a favourite lingerie look to give it a new lease of life. Personally, I really like these on top of a plain fitted t-shirt or vest top with jeans, they look stylish and sophisticated but a little bit naughty!

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A gift set is a wonderful thing to unwrap, and the combination of our indigo collar and lace mask, beautifully presented in a branded box is just the thing for a romantic present. These pieces are feminine, elegant and striking with their bright colour way and seductive styling, and one size fits all so there’s no concerns about guessing her measurements!

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We sell gift vouchers in £100 denominations, ready for your recipient to choose from our range of accessories, lingerie and corsetry! We offer a bespoke service on our corsetry, allowing the customer to select every element of their design to fit their tastes and requirements. A perfect option for overseas buyers and those who aren’t confident about choosing sizing as a gift.

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£100+ Gift Guide

Lingerie is the classic gift to give a loved one at Christmas, and our wide range of styles use luxurious components such as silk, and French lace with contemporary styling that strays from flattering wrap-around briefs into daring cage bras. Many of our styles are adjustable and come in small, medium and large, making it easier to choose a great fit, but we are on hand for advice if you need it!

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Corsetry is where it all started for us, and you can treat your loved one to one of our Autumn/ Winter range of waspies, featured in this September’s Vogue! These pieces are standard sized so you can simply choose the usual waist size your corset lover wears, or use our handy sizing chart to work it out for yourself. Again, we are on hand for any advice you may need.

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Bespoke corsets are hard to give as a surprise gift but booking a personal fitting with gift certificates for a bespoke piece (and maybe a night away in one of Shrewsbury’s premium boutique hotels while you’re visiting us!) allows the recipient to experience the full pleasure of designing and commissioning a corset from scratch, with an experienced and inspired corsetiere.

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Postcards From The Orchid Corsetry Studio- October 2014

A selection of navy ribbons and lace laid out for perusal.

In the postbag from the Orchid Corsetry studio this month- ribbon corsets, weddings, falling leaves and glowing gold silks.

I do love Autumn. I feel whisked up on the blustery winds, and full of delight at the transformations and colours that we’re treated to as the trees change for the season, and this month has been especially beautiful in Shropshire, as the dry weather left us with a glorious canopy.

I’ve also been able to work on some imaginative creations with new clients, in glorious seasonal shades which is a real joy. Many people have been taking advantage of the waist training starter kits to begin a new journey in tightlacing and figure enhancement, and I look forward to building on these relationships as the client progresses towards their goal. Work continues towards the Orchid Corsetry SS15 collection, and you can see the initial developments shaping up as we collate fabrics, textures and ideas around our central theme.

Fallen leaves in gold and yellow.
The beautiful display finally fell to earth, as Shropshire’s crowning glory graced our pavements instead of our skies.

A ribbon corset made in gold silk.
This bridal ribbon corset was designed to be worn with a stunning sari at a traditional Hindu wedding. We selected the accent colours from the sari to base this regal and glowing corset on, and in turn making a versatile piece that can live a useful life after the wedding.

Blue and gold ribbon corset with star embroidery.
This ribbon corset formed part of a waist training kit, and was designed to be a real indulgence to wear. Small pinpoint stars are hand embroidered over the satin ribbons, which were layered over sturdy grosgrain for a long life. The flashes of gold at the centre front and binding give the corset a majesty all it’s own.

A selection of navy ribbons and lace laid out for perusal.
Selecting the materials that will form the core of our SS15 collection is a sensory indulgence unlike any other. Here we are playing with a combination of ribbon types and textures in shades of inky blue.

A wrapped parcel from Orchid Corsetry.
A tissue wrapped parcel makes it’s way to a bridal client with our warm wishes for newly married life.

An ivory and gold silk Edwardian underbust corset.
This beautiful Edwardian underbust corset uses shaped panels to imitate hip gores whilst emphasising the drama of the tightlaced form. The rich golden green tones of the silk taffeta were a joy to handle.