When preparing to attend the 2015 Oxford Conference of Corsetry, the organizer and corsery fellow Julia Bremble suggested we think about doing forms for our corsets for display. I have seen this done in museums before, where they use lightweight plexi-glass forms to create an insert into the corset. I loved seeing corsets suspended from the ceiling, floating in space with no mannequin in sight.
This outfit was put together as two separate pieces for an event with the intention of finishing it off as a complete full length gown. It was fun to play around with having the design continue into my hair. It is entirely hand-pieced and hand-sewn.
For Valentines Day this year my husband gifted me a custom robe from Catherine D’Lish. Quite a luxury. I’ve lounged around in it, eaten jam on crumpets in it, taken it on vacation, and just enjoyed it hanging in my home. It is a very decorative piece that I’ve found is more useful than I could have imagined. Here are the images my husband shot of me enjoying our vacation. I have to admit it is fun to wear coming down a staircase and I have one of those at home too!
This was at the apartment we rented and outside in the private calle during out visit to Venice, Italy for Redentore this year. I wore it over my sheer bobinette corset for the boudoir shots, then added a lovely gown underneath for shots out in more public spaces.
Now I slightly strong armed my way into Marianne’s ( PopAntique ) wedding corset project. When Marianne told me her plan to pass her reception corset around, to be decorated by many makers, my inner self squeed with joy. We both have a strong attraction to pink and gray and I had purchased some Solstiss lace during the Oxford Conference of Corsetry that I very badly wanted to see on her corset. I didn’t take a lot of convincing as she agreed immediately that I should join in the project. Yay!
We finagled our travel plans, to the Oxford Conference of Corsetry, so Marianne and I would get some time discussing the project on the plane. I thought I’d start the decoration then, but changed my mind. We both felt it was better if she didn’t see any of the decoration applied to the corset, so the final reveal would be…well revealing and a big surprise. So while most of my lace was applied by Sparklewren (I did add some details from it to the final design) it makes me so happy to see it on her corset. Here is the bare corset awaiting the detailing and the lace I included in the project:
I have no idea how she trusted us all! The first thing the dawned on me was the effort it would take to collaborate long distance, with makers of different aesthetics. We had a very active discussion chat history scheming along the way. It was very helpful to talk and get others feedback to cull ideas, but also to watch it evolve. The timing was pretty tight but it all happened and was completed in time.
When the corset made its way to me the majority of the work had been done with some elements needing to be pulled together along with final construction finishing work.
One of my best friends is also a lovely corset-maker, model, and one of my ultimate muses. Now there are plans for three corsets to make up a bouquet of roses but here is our final entry into the Foundations Revealed Competition this year.
I have realized, through many hours of dressing my own hair, that I need more wigs for different eras. There are only so many 3 hour sessions I want to spend trying to make my long hair looks short, for example.
This year I was not overly prepared for Costume college. I managed to power through jet lag from our family vacation, pack, and hop right back on a plane, this time to LA. This year my alpaca Rainbow sherbet accompanied me on the trip.
I always enjoy having along a hand sewing project so this lovely nursing corset was flossed over the span of my costume college trip.
I love to see where gowns from our shop make their way out in the world. My client was kind enough to share some images of the lovely Wisteria in Velvet gown at her ball in Vienna, Austria. The final design has a sheer ruffle added to the bustline and flowers trailing down the skirt in continuation of the flowers on the corset.
I’ve had this fabric for years and knew I wanted to make something eventually. I have the same pattern in a brown colorway that I hope to make a slightly different design. The gown was fit over different stays than worn in these photos but it still works very well with the pinned stomacher which gives some leeway for fitting adjustments at the front.
Shown with two different hats and two different pairs of shoes for slightly different impressions:
Shoes: American Duchess
Photography: Tavan Photography
As I gear up for the 2017 Oxford Conference of Corsetry (OCOC) I am reminded that I have yet to post about the 2015 event, not for lack of desire but because it is hard to start to explain the overwhelming amount of information and interaction over that weekend. I can say it is a big deal when I focus more on enjoying an event than documenting it (although it is hard to get a camera out of my hand unless you replace it with a corset or a dance partner of course).
After you sign up for the event you have an option to sign-up for a photoshoot on Sunday. You receive the model measurements ahead of time so you can bring or make items to fit. The conference never fails to bring in the best models and photographers, and of course the location is such a good backdrop. For my model, Ella Rose, I pulled a piece I had been working on and finished it up on time!
Wisteria in Velvet:
I was super excited to work with Ella Rose this year and with Chris Murray who shot my work on Evie Wolfe during 2014 OCOC. Being a photographer myself, it is so rewarding to watch others work and have them give you a piece of their vision.
Here are a few images:
The weekend is packed with learning opportunities including the photoshoot but so much more! I can’t even start to explain but I hope to make a few more posts about my experience at 2015 OCOC.
After all is said and done, you get to walk (train, bus, fly) away with the anticipation of getting the proofs from the photographer. Then it is a bright little reminder of all the people you met and all your hard work paying off to share the final images.
That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” -Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
When my best friend Jen of Sealaced messaged me and said, “I have an idea for our collaboration for the Foundations Revealed competition”, little did I know what we were getting ourselves into! She explained” Don’t get scared” as this project was way outside my comfort zone. Something more sculptural and certainly not historical! Of course I jumped on board when I saw the photos she sent for inspiration: