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.
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.
Danielle Sharp (MUA Natasha Devedlaka) wearing our Clouds bralette and panties shot by Mick Ackland.
I often speak about my passion for the engineering side of corsetmaking, but it occurred to me that many clients don’t understand how their bespoke corset is made in the first place. When the beautiful Edith Emerald asked me to take some behind the scenes photo’s of her commission for her blog it seemed a perfect opportunity to share some of the techniques that I use in the studio, and that you may never have realised play a part in your corset’s existence.
When you send over your measurements, we use them to draft you a unique pattern that responds to your individual body lengths and circumferences.
This process differs depending on whether you are having a double coutil corset, a four layer corset, a summer mesh corset or a single coutil layer with fashion fabric and lining like Edith, but each seperate layer is cut with care from your pattern, taking care to follow grain lines in the fabric so as to retain the strength of the weave.
Once the panels of the corset have been sewn together and the sizing carefully checked it’s time to press the work so far, using steam, heat and pressure to get the desired sleek effect over the contours and seams. In many ways, this is where the magic happens!
Basting and boning channels
Because Edith’s corset used a single strength layer (the coutil) we are using boning tape stitched inside the corset to securely retain the steel boning rather than stitching the channels through multiple layers of cloth as we would do on a 4 layer corset. This is hand stitched (or basted) into position to allow for the most effective and attractive top stitching.
Cutting and tipping steel bones
No corset would be complete without it’s steel skeleton! many people don’t realise that the steel boning is not there to reduce the waist (this is done at the pattern making stage with how we shape the panels) but in fact to hold the fabric taut and prevent the corset wrinkling and folding under pressure at the waist. The boning gives tension and support to the figure but does not actually change your waist shape.
Attaching and handsewing binding
With the bones inserted, the corset is nearly complete except for binding the edges…
The finished corset
You can read more about Edith’s adventures here, and find on her on Instagram for her latest updates and stunning vintage inspired portraits.