Alternative model Elisa Berlin is a dear friend of mine. We originally met modeling at a Dark Garden fashion show, but we're both polyamorists when it comes to corsetmakers. Once, when she was at my apartment, I had her try on an 18" sample corset I had lying about, and she described it as the most comfortable 18 she's ever worn. Naturally, I was thrilled when she ordered a corset from me earlier this year. (I seriously have the prettiest clients.)
The style she chose was the Ingenue, which features a longline hip and high back. Elisa's natural figure has a very dramatic hip to waist ratio, and she's been waist training for a while now, so an off-the-rack fit wouldn't suffice for her if she's to continue training. As an intermediary between fully custom and standard patterns, I can do alterations to the ready-to-wear styles, so we put a 17" waist on the body of a 20" corset. Since that's a pretty dramatic reduction (RTWs already have a 4" reduction), I wanted to do a mockup to check the fit. I took snapshots from all angles during the fitting so I could refer to them while making the final pattern adjustments, and Elisa graciously allowed me to share this shot with you.
Here she's laced to about 19", which makes her waist an even 1/2 of her hip measurement! You can see the waist lies perfectly smoothly, despite the extreme curves involved. While I originally wanted to round out the line of the hips a touch, Elisa liked the way the shape of the corset suggested the shape of her skeleton underneath. The final piece will be in black organic cotton sateen, with selective ivory flossing. I can't wait to stitch it.
Got any questions about waist training, fitting procedures, or where you can see more Elisa? Ask me in the comments and I'd be happy to answer them!
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Monday, September 6, 2010
Photo by REad Picture. Makeup by his girlfriend.
Because I knew it was going to be "trashed" as it were, I specifically minimalized the materials used in the corset. It's single layer, with a scant 12 bones and no busk. To give it some flair, I added a bunch of ribbon detail. Unfortunately, the single layer and minimal boning weren't quite up to the amount of reduction drafted into it.
Then the fun began. Basically a bunch of strawberries were alternately consumed and smashed into the corset. The very first one smashed ended up creating the large heart-shaped stain.
And then the corset smelled like strawberries.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
When Mariah Carle contacted me about shooting some of my designs, I didn't have any samples in mind. Originally Victoria Dagger was going to model the piece (whatever it may be - I was thinking of doing a dress), but when Tressa expressed interest I thought it would be a good match. Nikki signed on as MUA and we had a team!
I decided to do a sample of a simple "economy" corset. I wanted to prove that you can have a comfortable and fitted corset with a minimum of boning (10 pieces were used in the final piece, including 6 spirals and 4 flats around the grommets, plus a standard busk). Of course, it's better to distribute the reduction among at least 5 or 6 pieces per side, but it's not impossible with just princess seams. The fabric was purchased from S. Rimmon Imported Fabrics, which is where I used to work when I lived in LA.
I ended up grommeting my thumb while rushing to set the grommets right before the shoot. It was fairly gruesome and, ironically, only served to make me late to the shoot. Luckily they were still finishing makeup by the time I got to Mariah's home studio in Pacifica. I ended up bleeding on the white laces as I cinched Tressa up.
The skirt used in the shoot was originally a mockup from my mini-collection Alice in Suburbia. Luckily it happens to coordinate fabulously with the corset. I wish you could see Tressa's little flower tattoo on her shoulder - very appropriate.