New Lingerie Samples On Tour With Ryo Love

I’m really fortunate to get a lot of amazing new images of my work as it travels between models and photographers, but it was a special privilege to pack Ryo Love off with these new lingerie samples when she visited for a recent shoot with Salleh Sparrow (I was reflector girl for the afternoon!) Partly because I adore Ryo and the enchanting sophistication she manages to mingle with a cheeky mischievous streak but also because it was a great opportunity to see how this set worked out in the flesh. I never imagined I would get back a set of images that inspired me as much as these shots from Iamsuko, a Cardiff based photographer who created these images with Jade Pointon weaving magic with Ryo’s hair.


Black and white shot fo Ryo Love in our new lingerie set.
The Fall. Whispers of silk cross the skin. The touch of smooth satin under your fingers.

I thought it would be nice to share this half stage of design development with you, and to talk about how this new lingerie set will eventually end up. I wanted to create a new ensemble with more structure, more of a sultry feel, and more daring cuts. A half cup bra has been on my to-do list for some time, and I loved the idea of softening the exposure with plunging deep scalloped lace that gave just enough coverage but still enticed and enthralled with promise of a reveal.

The bra is underwired with a non-padded, slightly stretchy cup of duchess satin, topped with one of my favourite new laces in our studio- a really ornate eyelash fringed style that highlights the skin behind it beautifully. I trialed a double strap cross-over back on this bra but even before I’d tried it on the model I knew it was going to be necessary to return to our usual three supportive straps! The panties are currently being redesigned as this cut doesn’t quite work how I want it to at the moment- The dramatic shape of the lace scallop is lost once the piece is stretched around the torso but a few tweaks should let me showcase that to perfection. I may include a waist strap that keeps the central lace peak upright, or I may entirely change the way the lace is used on the front of the briefs.

Close up of Ryo Love wearing our new lingerie set
Sinuous straps encircle the throat while a wave of lace clasps the breast.

Another piece that I’ve been keen to move into the main store is a statement suspender belt. Again, using the gleaming duchess satin and cut-away lace, with a harness attachment that can thread under the bra with the suspenders slid between the skin and panties so that everything can be removed while leaving this enrapturing garment to adorn the body. I wanted to keep this piece delicate and sensuous, but as with the panties I do need to find a different way to showcase the lace front that gives me more control over how it sits on the body without detracting from it’s impact.

Colour image of Ryo Love wearing our bra panties and suspender belt by Iamsuko.
Cloaked in gossamer veils, embraced by straps and lace.

Receiving these images from Iamsuko helped me to see beyond my current frustrations with the niggles I need to fix and my lack of time in which to do them (though my new sewing room at home holds potential to open up more time while detracting significantly from my social life!) They helped me see through the imperfect present to a set that is imbued with sensual energy. The use of the floating fabric in these images gave a tremendous power and poise to the feel of the shots, and calls you to imagine the whisper of that silk crossing your skin, the firm clasp of the harness about your throat. I really hope that soon I will have the completed set to share with you, which will also include a few larger cup sizes than our current range. Till then, happy lacing.

Recent Photoshoot Features for Orchid Corsetry- Part One

A beautiful image of model Danielle Sharp (MUA Natasha Devedlaka) wearing our Dusk bralette shot by Mick Ackland.

We’ve had the good fortune to work alongside some inspiring photographers this year, contributing our corsetry for other artists photoshoot plans and in some cases, making corsets especially for the occasion! One particularly exciting project saw me assisting Salleh Sparrow and Jack Creed on location at a derelict manor house and school as we shot a series of images drawing on themes of social anxiety, a personal project for Salleh which is now available as a coffee table book. The atmospheric and visually rich images that were created are just beautiful, and very eerie in their intensity. For this shoot I made an ivory silk fan-lacing ribbon corset, which was an experiment for me, and resulted in a striking finished look that drew on the styling of Victorian straitjackets. The final edited images are currently exclusive to the printed book (available from Salleh) but I can share some behind the scenes shots in the meantime.

A behind the scenes snap of model Salleh Sparrow wearing our ivory silk fan-laced ribbon corset and Dusk lingerie.
A behind the scenes snap of Salleh Sparrow wearing our ivory silk fan-laced ribbon corset and Dusk lingerie.
A behind the scenes snap of model Salleh Sparrow wearing our ivory silk fan-laced ribbon corset and Dusk lingerie.
A behind the scenes snap of Salleh Sparrow wearing our ivory silk fan-laced ribbon corset and Dusk lingerie. Make up and styling by Salleh.

I was also given the opportunity to send wardrobe along to a photographer who has been on my “dream team” list for some time- Mick Ackland. His distinctive brand of dark, intriguing cinematic image making has been a constant source of indulgent consumption for me, and to be asked to play a part in this art was a real honour. Photo’s are still coming through from Mick, but I purpose built a sheer waspie for this occasion which I hope will feature in some of his work.

A beautiful image of model Danielle Sharp (MUA Natasha Devedlaka) wearing our Dusk bralette shot by Mick Ackland.
A beautiful image of Danielle Sharp (MUA Natasha Devedlaka) wearing our Dusk bralette shot by Mick Ackland.

The beautiful model Danielle Sharp (MUA Natasha Devedlaka) wearing our Clouds bralette and panties shot by Mick Ackland.

Danielle Sharp (MUA Natasha Devedlaka) wearing our Clouds bralette and panties shot by Mick Ackland.

SS15 collection- En Plein Air

Model wears grey waspie and matching lingerie

We couldn’t be happier or more proud as we release our first seasonal collection! SS15 responds to the theme of “En Plein Air” or “Yn Yr Awyr Agored” in my native tongue of Welsh. In the process of building up a portfolio of designs inspired by the great outdoors this became an increasingly personal body of work, drawing on specific moments that I treasure from the rugged and breathtaking landscape that I grew up in, as well as adventures from more recent times, including a glorious day at Aberdovey harbour with my love when we had just met. I wanted to draw from the sentimentality that these places can hold for us against the raw power and thrill of nature, the way that our human lives interplay with the timeless landscape.

Choosing our team for the photoshoot wasn’t all that hard when it came down to it. I have been looking for an opportunity to work with Julian Kilsby for some time, a photographer based in Birmingham whose reputation precedes him in every sphere, and this seemed like the ideal time to draw on his talents. Julian and I share a love for Guy Bourdain’s darkly sensual fashion photography, and this allure is really visible in his work to date. We talked about some models whom we were both excited by and agreed wholeheartedly on Miss Miranda. Miranda and I have previously worked together on our Gilded Cages collection, and I was so pleased that she could join us on this project. Every image I see of Miranda has an iconic feel, and I often refer to her as my muse because she really seems to wear the mood of each photoshoot like a second skin, weaving her own artistry with that of designer and photographer.

The final styling of the photoshoot sets were a complete surprise to me- I simply told Julian a little about what I was bringing along with a few in-progress photographs and he worked his own way into the theme. He saw that although we were talking about a shoot inspired by nature we would be working indoors (it was February after all!) and that we had an opportunity to play with the artificiality of the scenario (another link back to Guy Bourdain) by allowing a little of the studio into the scenes- a light left in shot, the back of the sets used to show the 2D nature of it all. But the real magic comes in with a combination of Julian’s subtlety and cleverness with lighting and Miranda’s delicacy with pose and presence. For me, it’s only on second appraisal of the images that one starts to pick out these details, what is initially viewed as a vibrant moment captured with a beautiful woman at the heart of it becomes something more complex and dynamic. A layer of concepts and perceptions that is greater than the sum of it’s parts.

No collection I have ever produced has been perfect. There are many compromises that have to be made in order to get all the pieces together in time, and SS15 is no exception. Are there things I’d do differently next time? Absolutely. I made a few last minute changes to pieces that didn’t work (boning accents on First Light!) and experimented with new construction techniques that I will probably not repeat (alternative flatlining method on “Silhouettes at Sunset”) but as a body of work I feel that is my strongest offering so far, especially as it’s the most ambitious project I’ve ever attempted, with 6 separate looks including full lingerie sets! I’m trying to move onto a stage in my career where instead of trying to hide mistakes, I embrace what I’ve learned from them and take it for experience. After all, what is a photoshoot for, if not an excuse to stretch your boundaries and experiment!

I hope you enjoy En Plein Air. It’s been a pleasure from this side of the sewing machine.

Postcards From The Orchid Corsetry Studio- February 2015

Black mesh lingerie set in a box.

In the postbag from the Orchid Corsetry studio this month- shows, shoots and final touches.

It has been nothing if not action packed this month! Alongside reworking elements of the lingerie range to fine-tune fit and elegance, we were busy taking part in a catwalk event in aid of Severn Hospice, a wonderful organisation in Shropshire that is in constant need of support in order to continue it’s good work. Alongside Shrewsbury based designer Lyuba Carpenter and milliner Laura Cathcart, we presented an evening of high class couture, showcasing casual tailoring, evening wear and bridal. You can see our beautiful model Rhiannah wearing our ivory silk Edwardian underbust corset in this month’s images, and get a flavour of the evening! We were delighted with the funds raised by the evening and hope that all who attended enjoyed themselves.

The end of February also saw us setting off for Birmingham with a suitcase full of corsetry representing months of work and planning, ready to shoot with Miss Miranda and Julian Kilsby! The events of the day will require their own post complete with the soon to be released images, however for now, we can share some of the behind the scenes footage from a day that went exceptionally well. My experience of photoshoots is that so much hangs in the balance, and expectations are high. It can be a pressured environment in which there may have to be compromises as the realities of time intervene in our visions, however having a great team makes these elements manageable, and helps to over-ride my niggling concerns with confidence in a greater overall result. As a perfectionist I am rarely entirely satisfied with the work I bring to a shoot, but thanks to the magic brought to the day by Miranda and Julian I can look back and feel content that we have created something beautiful and exciting. I eagerly anticipate releasing the collection for your enjoyment!

Grey lace "Clouds" bralette
An image of our “Clouds” bralette on a mannequin, made in delicate grey corded lace with halterneck and cross-over back straps.
Black mesh lingerie set in a box.
One of my favourite sets of lingerie from this collection- “Dusk” made in daring but elegant sheer mesh with lace borders and keyhole-back panties. Seen with our new branded lingerie boxes!
Model wearing ivory corset and feather stole.
From back stage at the catwalk event, the beautiful Rhiannah is wearing our ivory and sage Edwardian underbust with a feather stole and lace skirt.
Six corsets and lingerie sets waiting to be packed.
The day before the shoot all was unnervingly organised, with every outfit from the new collection laid out on the studio table, ready to be packed up and taken to Birmingham!
Model wearing a marine and ivory silk underbust corset with ivory silk lingerie.
A glimpse from behind the scenes, with Miss Miranda in our “En Régate” set. A 12 panel underbust corset in marine and ivory silk, worn with matching ivory silk lingerie and harness.
Model wearing ivory sheer corset and lingerie.
Another behind the scenes shot of Miss Miranda wearing our “First light” 14 panel underbust corset with ivory “Dusk” lingerie. First light is made in a filmy ivory mesh overlaid with silk boning accents and shimmering beaded lace.

Postcards From The Orchid Corsetry Studio- January 2015

Detail shot of the marine and ivory silk "En Regate" underbust corset.

In the postbag from the Orchid Corsetry studio this month- New Year’s goals, plans under way, and the big reveal begins.

As promised, the new year has seen us beginning to trail glimpses of the new collection of corsetry before the official release of SS15, including the first views of our upcoming lingerie range which has us really excited and extremely busy making plans for alternative colours available and refining the finishing touches. At first, the underwired bra will be available in sizes 32A-38D, with a flexibility on back size and sister sizing of cups due the styling of the piece but we are asking you to get in touch with us if your needs are not catered to this season so we can judge demand for future releases. We are aware that fuller busted women often feel disappointed that more brands don’t provide for them, and operating as an independent designer means that we are more challenged than the “big names” to provide a wide range but we always consider you, and endeavor to please wherever possible.

January has always been a time when we hear from our waist training regulars, in search of a new goal or aesthetic, but also when we meet a new crowd of eager tightlacers, ready to make their first steps towards bringing corsetry into their lives. The new year started with a bang, and below you can see one of the classic waist training underbusts that have gone to join their new owner this month. If you are considering your own waist training journey, you may find this article helpful.

A beige coutil training corset.
A beautiful silhouette makes this everyday training corset an exceptional piece for any collection. This is made for a client looking for discreet wear beneath clothing on a regular basis, and everything about it is tailored towards invisibility and a seamless integration into your wardrobe.
Detail shot of the marine and ivory silk "En Regate" underbust corset.
First up from SS15, “En Regate” is a 12 panel underbust corset cobwebbed with graphic flowing lines that interlock and wind intimately around the body. An Orchid signature piece of cool contemporary expression.
A close up of Orchid Corsetry's strap-back bondage bra
We will be offering colour variants on our new lingerie collection, and the fresh marine tones used in our “En Regate” corset will also be available in a rich ebony black silk, matched with gold fixings. This underwired, strap-back plunge bra is all about sleek lines, firm structures and suggestions of elegant bondage.
Grey coutil waspie with blue lace detail.
“Clouds Over Stormy Skies” is a minimalist, structured waspie made in soft grey coutil with flashes of indigo Leavers lace and blue central stitching on the double boning channels that run across the surface of this corset. Accompanying lingerie will echo the cool grey tones and the delicacy of the lace.
Close up of the new underbust corset "First Light""
“First Light” responds to the current barely-there cellophane trend. A 14 panel underbust made in sheer mesh with ivory silk accents and drapes of fresh, sparkling beaded lace that lend clarity to an otherwise soft and misty piece.
A black cupped overbust corset on a mannequin.
And last but not least, we have a sample cupped overbust we made for one of our mannequins in the studio. A simple piece to showcase the architecture of the corset, made in black boutonniere coutil with subtle tulle lace softening the bust and hip lines of the corset.