- Victoria’s Secret push-up sports bra? For you ladies that workout, Victoria’s Secret would love for you to consider their new push-up bra. That’s right, Victoria’s Secret wants you to have maximum lift while you lift. Do you think that’s a good idea or big miss?
- Bra sizes are up three sizes in just 2 years, according to one study. In a survey conducted by the British high street store, Debenhams, 78% of women in the UK have been buying bras that are too small with typical bra sizes going up three sizes (from 34B to 34DD) in the last 2 years. Debenhams has also discovered that many of their customers are buying padded and pushup bras…70% more to be exact.
- Breast sizes are booming but is it because women weigh more? Even MORE talk about bra sizes recently (there’s been a lot!)t. Last week there was news of lingerie firms possibly tampering with bra sizes in order to flatter their customers along with the study above. Some say that the jump is a result of women being more confident in letting themselves be curvaceous. However, statistics do show that obesity in England has been increasing over the last decade and the bigger busts may be a result of this trend. Generally speaking, the bustier a woman is, the larger she is. Why do you think the increase in bra sizes is happening?
- An Indian lingerie campaign which doesn’t feature half naked women. Indian lingerie firm Amanté is urging its customers to get rid of ill fitting bras through an ad campaign reminiscent of campaigns against domestic abuse. Telling consumers to “break up with the wrong bra” and that “suffocation is the worst kind of abuse”, Amanté has raised eyebrows by not showing a single bra or breast; the ad simply shows a woman gazing into the camera. How do you feel about that?
- Stunning photos of plus-sized swimwear model Robyn Lawley. Australian model Robyn Lawley, the first plus-sized model for Ralph Lauren, was pictured in a swimwear editorial in Australian Cosmopolitan. Being 6′ and a size 12, this may be the beginning of seeing a wider range of shapes and sizes in fashion magazines. Check out the photos and tell us what you think in the comments.
- Touched up Victoria’s Secret photos from last week’s post Remember last week’s post where we showed what unretouched Victoria’s Secret photos may look like? Well, check out the published versions after a little “sprucing up.” There have been changes to swimsuit colors, changes to the background, along with wrinkles, birthmarks, and scars removed. Is this the kind of retouching you expected?
- A bra that can detect breast cancer on the way? People have been attempting to create a bra that can detect breast cancer since the 1970′s. However, the world may actually be on the verge of having one. A device name the “First Warning System” is equipped with sensors, AI, and pattern recognition software that can detect temperature changes of cells associated with breast cancer. More sensitive, accurate and cost effective than a mammogram, it will have both applications for both OB/GYN and primary care office use along with over-the-counter potential.
- Samurai Shopper’s search for the perfect shape wear. The New York Times’ Samurai Shopper searches for shapewear that is less “Wild West saloon” corset or “granny girdles” and more Liz Taylor in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. Read on to see what she finds.
- Victoria Secret accidentally releases untouched photos on their website. Want to know what untouched photos from Victoria Secret look like? Check out V.S. Angel, Doutzen Kroes, from a recent shoot for the upcoming September catalog.
- Modern bra sizes may intend to flatter the wearer. Lingerie expert, “Linda the Bra Lady” says that modern lingerie firms are changing the sizing of their bras to flatter customers. Modern bras are being labeled with smaller back sizes and larger cup sizes (i.e. “vanity sizing”) and this may mislead customers into thinking that they are not only slimmer, but also more buxom. Read on to find out more.
- Women who test drive big breasts decide to go bigger. In Great Britain, women who are considering breast augmentation are given a bra to test drive their new cup size and many are opting to go even bigger! Read on to get the full story.
September always seems to be my busiest month. Once again, it’s been crammed full of lingerie happenings. As well as being inundated with orders (following the launch of my brand last month), I’ve been juggling lingerie events and preparations to move cities! It’s been an exhausting month but worth every moment. Here’s a few of my favourite adventures, I hope you enjoy them!
Clockwise from the left – SS13 including the new highwaisted bikini and Morticia corset, Miss Miranda and Sophie St Villier’s burlesque routine
My lingerie month began with an invitation to What Katie Did’s fabulous AW12 collection launch – a delightful afternoon of fabulous fashion shows and some rather delicious WKD cupcakes. A particular highlight of the event was the SS13 preview show – my personal favourites including a red and peach colourway for the Morticia corset and a delightful highwaisted bikini with side cut outs. We were also treated to a fabulous burlesque performance courtesy of Miss Miranda and Sophie St Villier – I was very taken with Miss Miranda’s polkadot seamed stockings and ended up picking up my own pair!
Inside Victoria’s Secret Bond Street boutique – angel wings and all
Before leaving London, I knew I had to go and see what all the fuss was about with Victoria’s Secret. They’d opened their Bond Street boutique amidst a flurry of controversy and speculation and I was itching to see it for myself. My first impressions were exactly what I expected: it’s glamorous, attention-grabbing and very, very ‘American’. The décor is all black and pink gloss and chandeliers, with lingerie covering literally every available surface. It was a little overwhelming – the themes of each room were a vague at times and the designer collection left my jaw dragging along the floor – though not for the right reasons.
Some of the ‘Designer Collection’
With a premium price, the designer collection seemed average at best, with the lingerie being poorly constructed and offering incredibly limited sizing. I did wonder why they’d even bothered to include it – after all, the department store ‘Fenwick’s’ is just across the road and offers the crème de la crème of lingerie (Carine Gilson, Chantal Thomass and La Perla just to name a few) – and often for a less intimidating price tag. Additionally, the mainline products seemed to have an unnecessarily high mark-up – it seemed like the average bra on offer was around £30, which seems a little ridiculous considering the British high street offers multiple identical products for around £10. To be fair to VS, the customer service was impressive - sales assistants could be found everywhere and they were all incredibly happy to help and discuss the products.
I was a little disconcerted by their infamous fitting service (having a tape measure wrapped around the top of your bust on the shop floor and then being offered a less-than-accurate size). Nevertheless, armed with my fitting card, I explored the shop in a bid to find something I’d like to add to my lingerie collection. Unfortunately, the only bras I could find in a 32C were molded cups and pushups; the lace balconettes seemed reserved only for those in a 32D or above. I’m personally rather fond of my bust shape and don’t feel it needs a 2-cup-size boost! I fully understand that expanding size ranges can be a complex and costly undertaking for a lingerie brand, though with a label as big as Victoria’s Secret you’d think it wouldn’t be too much of a risk.
Details on the Sparklewren ‘Burning Coals’ corset
So what could be a better cure for the boring and mass-produced than a visit to the wonderful Sparklewren boutique? After popping in to Jenni’s Birmingham boutique last week, I knew my lingerie lust-list had just been entirely re-written. Her new ‘burning coals’ corset is one of the most gorgeous garments that I’ve ever laid my eyes upon: phenomenal shaping and exquisite embellishment, with layered golden lace, crystals and spikes – everything that I could ever ask for in a corset! I was even lucky enough to try it on. All I need to do now is win the lottery and make it mine! I thoroughly recommend visiting the Sparklewren boutique to any lingerie and corsetry lover – the creations it houses are more works of art than simply garments and the couture laces and crystal embellishments are sure to appeal to any lover of shiny things!
My gorgeous new French lace and my first camisole experiment with it
Finally, I’ve been getting to grips with the aftermath of launching my own lingerie brand! The response that I’ve had has been a lot better than I ever could have expected. I’ve been inundated with orders and have received some incredibly lovely messages from customers – it’s really helped to enforce that following my dream was actually a good idea. Unfortunately, my shops orders seem to have taken up all of my spare time! I’d ordered some stunning French leavers lace that I’ve been barely able to touch since it arrive. I’m hoping that at some point in the near future I’ll manage to get some free time for some new designs – all I’ve managed so far is a lace camisole, when really I want to be trying out the soft bras and high-waisted knickers that are still just ideas in my head!
Now that September’s over, I’m finally going back to my lingerie studies at university. It’s going to be an incredibly exciting year – we’re going to be looking at corsetry and swimwear to name just a few of the things we’ll be doing. I can’t wait to see where my new lingerie school adventures and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you!
Readers – have you had any of your own lingerie adventures last month? What do you think of mine?
Victoria’s Secret gets a lot of flak within the lingerie industry. “Icky Vicky” is one of their most common nicknames, and I don’t know a single lingerie blogger who’s given one of their bras a positive review. Their sizing chart makes no sense, and even though I wear a size they carry (a C cup), I don’t shop there anymore because the bras just don’t fit. Add in their problematic marketing, child labor issues and, most recently, the hosiery knockoff scandal, and well…let’s just say the VS PR team really earns their paycheck.
But that’s not what today’s article is about. For all of Victoria’s Secret’s problems, I think they fill a vital role within the lingerie industry and also within the lives of individual women.
I don’t know how it is in other countries, but in the U.S., Victoria’s Secret is the lingerie store. And they are most women’s first exposure to pretty, lacy, and (dare I say it?) sexy lingerie. Most department stores (think Macy’s and J.C. Penney’s) sell really boring underwear. Everything’s white, beige, or black. The only nylons are control top pantyhose. And every store carries the same 10 brands (which, coincidentally, are all owned by the same company…but more on that later). I remember being an early 20-something with a budding interest in pretty lingerie (this is pre-Gap Body, pre-Aerie, and pre-Lingerie Addict), and feeling like my choices were extremely limited. Except when I walked into a Victoria’s Secret.
With over 1,000 stores in the U.S., Victoria’s Secret is everywhere. Every mall, shopping center, or downtown district has a VS. I grew up in a city with no lingerie boutiques (which is true for many women in America) and Victoria’s Secret was the only place to pick up anything remotely exciting. Not only did they have a larger lingerie selection than the department stores, the staff was consistently friendly, and, best of all, the prices were within even a student’s budget.
Now I’m not waxing poetic about VS. They’re not one of my top 5 places for lingerie shopping. But when you’re brand new to the intimates and don’t know where else to go or even how to even start, Victoria’s Secret can be a gateway to the world of lingerie.
To illustrate, when I was in college, lingerie boutiques felt very inaccessible to me. I didn’t know a good bra from a bad bra. I didn’t know why Bra X cost more than Bra Y. And I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on any of my clothes, including my underwear. Add in how the lingerie boutique experience can be a little uneven (especially, I think, if the sales staff has already decided you’re not a customer), and well, lingerie shopping can be extremely intimidating…especially for a newbie.
But when I shopped at VS, I felt like it was okay for me to “just look around,” and also felt like it was okay for me to explore all this new stuff I was interested in. I experimented with garter belts and thigh highs and cheeky panties and bustiers and bright colors and sheer lace and so much other stuff I couldn’t find elsewhere. Victoria’s Secret was literally my entry point to lingerie. I picked up my first “sexy” lingerie set from them. I bought many of my first bras from them (and looking back, was introduced to some of my favorite styles this way). I bought a ton of cute panties from them. And before I knew anything about Kiss Me Deadly or Huit or Wacoal or Hopeless or any other of the brands I know and love now, I had a place to buy lingerie that made me feel pretty.
Victoria’s Secret gets a lot of hate for their sizing practices, their over-emphasis on sexy, and the quality of their products (and rightly so), but I think they have another purpose in the industry at large, and that’s introducing women to lingerie. Victoria’s Secret helps make lingerie seem normal.
For me, Victoria’s Secret was the first hint that there could be something better out there for me to wear beneath my clothes. And honestly, I’m not sure I’d have even started a lingerie blog without a VS nearby to keep my interest going during those early days.
So what do you think, dear readers? Is Victoria’s Secret all bad or do they actually help the industry? I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments.
Finally! Through the past few years, swimwear designers are slowly becoming more in tune with diverse and unique shoppers and offering us a wider range of styles to fit our individual personalities.
Years ago I can remember perusing the conventional assortment in my local department store full of prints & styles that never really allowed me to express my style as an individual. For too long we’ve been forced to choose between dowdy one pieces or generic looking bikinis that seemed to get skimpier and less practical each summer. I wanted something fun, sexy & unique!
Now as designers have begun to step up their game, I am faced with the exciting task of choosing my beachwear assortment for the season! So many different shapes, silhouettes and detailing making for a much more enjoyable and rewarding shopping experience. Here I have highlighted my top 6 swimwear trends for 2012 that I can’t wait to show off poolside this summer.
Blast From The Past
Retro style has been trending for a few summers now and I just love how these pin-up pieces are finally making it into the mainstream marketplace. Inspired by our favorite decades past, these bathing suits are flattering on a wide array of bodies and are sure to get you noticed among the usual sea of outdated bikinis.
(From left to right) 1. Room And Diving Board bikini by Cherries Swim at www.modcloth.com; 2. Sailor Swimsuit by Fables By Barrie at www.fablesbybarrie.com; 3. Beach Betty bikini by One Teaspoon at www.modcloth.com; 4. Mesh Ruched Swimdress by Norma Kamali at www.neimanmarcus.com.
Fringe has been adorning everything from skirts to purses this season so why shouldn’t swimwear join in on the fun? Layers of fringe are a perfect way to add a little swing to your step and draw the eye away from any unsightly areas. And as an added bonus, fringe is a great way to transition from day into night taking you from beach to bar, or from pool to life of the party.
(From left to right) 1. Fringe Benefits bikini by L*Space at www.lspace.com; 2. Sea Of Love bikini by Beach Bunny at www.beachbunnyswimwear.com; 3. Fringe printed one-piece by Free People at www.freepeople.com; 4. Surya Fringe bikini by Tori Praver at www.revolveclothing.com.
One-piece bathing suits no longer have to be worn solely for function & practicality. Now we can cover up and still look hot with these super sexy suits guaranteed to garner as much attention as the teeny barely-there bikini. Whether you prefer fuller coverage with provocative detailing or to be more bold and revealing in a unique way, these pieces have got you covered.
(From left to right) 1. Colorblock Scuba swimsuit by Michael Kors at www.michaelkors.com; 2. Zeus Wild Flower one-piece by Aqua Di Lara at www.aquadilara.com; 3. The Bridget one-piece by Tavik at www.karmaloop.com; 4. Cindy swimsuit by Minimale Animale at www.urbanoutfitters.com.
Ruffles always make for a cute & feminine detail however this season many designers have taken it up a notch and incorporated the flounce into their collections. This one big ruffle bandeau or tank is still flirty and playful but with a fresh new attitude. And the wide ruffle on top does a great job balancing out a full bottom, a perfect solution for any pear shaped gal.
(From left to right) 1. Kristen Ruffle bikini by Zinke at www.shopzinke.com; 2. Two Piece Half-Top bikini by Mara Hoffman at www.saksfifthavenue.com; 3. Penny Ruffle bikini by O’neill at www.swell.com; 4. Lovey one-piece by Kushcush at www.kushcush.com.
Give ‘em The Bold Shoulder
Why not take a tip from the Grecian goddesses this season in a one-shouldered suit? This sexy asymmetrical look will show off your gorgeous summer skin without any slipping and sliding. Try a simple more basic shape or get creative with twists, keyholes or hardware. Either way this look is a sensible blend of fashion and practicality.
(From left to right) 1. Plenteous Tiles bikini by Marza Genesi Sea at www.anthropologie.com; 2. Surfers Point one-piece by 6 Shore Road at www.revolveclothing.com; 3. Bendito Candy bikini by Agua Bendita at www.laurela.com; 4. Macrame One Shoulder bikini by Becca at www.bloomingdales.com.
C’mon Get Strappy
Strappy detailing has been big these past few summers and the look is not going away anytime soon. Each season they get sexier, more creative and enticing. With such a forward bold look the color choice is often black to lend a sophisticated more serious edge. These suits are not for the faint of heart and may also yield some awkward tan lines but the looks you’re sure to garner from admiring passers by make it worth the investment.
(From left to right) 1. Kinky bikini by Have Faith at www.havefaith.com; 2. Muy Caliente bikini by Luli Fama at www.lulifama.com; 3. Eagles Shadow bikini by One Teaspoon at www.nastygal.com; 4. Very Sexy Strappy Bikini by Victoria’s Secret at www.victoriassecret.com.
What are your takes on these bold trends? Do you prefer to keep it simple at the beach or do you play up the fashion?
Is Victoria’s Secret feeling the pressure from luxury lingerie boutiques? The national retailer known for deals like 3/$30 panties is expanding into the world of luxury lingerie with their new Victoria’s Secret Designer Collection.
With knickers starting at $38, bras at $98, and teddies at $168 (along with a sheer lace corset that retails for $298), Victoria’s Secret is positioning itself as your high-end lingerie alternative just in time for Valentine’s Day. The lace overlays and ruffles have a somewhat more European vibe, but the shape and silhouette is still 100% Victoria’s Secret. What do you think of this new range? Any plans to try it out or should Victoria’s Secret stick to what it knows?
While the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is often seen as an hour-long commercial for America’s most famous lingerie store, the show also features work from smaller, more independent artisans. While corsets were shown prominently on the runway both this year and last year, Victoria’s Secret isn’t really known for making the kind of authentic, steel boned corsets we know and love. So when Victoria’s Secret wants to use a corset in their annual fashion show, who do they call? They call Period Corsets.
Founded in 1997 by Rebecca Kaufman and Susan Davis, Seattle-based Period Corsets has been the official corsetiere for Victoria’s Secret for three now, and I am incredibly excited to feature these talented designers on the blog in an exclusive Lingerie Addict interview. Please don’t forget check out their Etsy store and take a moment to tell them what you think of their work in the comments! We’ve got lots to talk about right now though, so let’s get started with the interview.
1) I’ve often admired the corset work during the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, so it’s a real delight to talk to the corset makers behind the beautiful pieces we see on the runway. Thank you for making the time for an interview on The Lingerie Addict. Let’s start with the question that I’m sure is on everyone’s mind…how did you begin working with Victoria’s Secret? Did they approach and how did they first discover your work?
Thank you for interviewing us. It’s our pleasure.
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show approached us! In 2009, a few weeks before the show, their designers needed another outfit for Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas (the musical guest that year) and some options for the runway collection. Their designers were looking for a company they could trust to make high-quality, high-fashion corsets with a quick turnaround.
While Period Corsets® is based in Seattle and we make everything in our studio here, we are part of the network of New York costume houses and regularly partner with places like The Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is a hybrid between costume and fashion, bringing together talented artists from all over to create the breathtaking looks you see on the runway – whether that’s 10-foot wings, “million-dollar bras” or one-of-a-kind corsets. Victoria’s Secret retail lingerie is woven throughout the fashion show, and what completes the look of each themed ensemble are the custom-made pieces. That’s where our corsets come in.
2) That’s really interesting…especially since most people don’t know that Victoria’s Secret employs artisans in that way. How many VS fashion shows have you created corsets for and how many corsets have you made for Victoria’s Secret in total?
We’ve worked on three Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows, and the number of corsets has varied from 5 to 10 each year.
In 2009, time was of the essence so Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show designer Todd Thomas picked a few styles from our retail line of corsets and sent us the fabrics. He chose our c.1900 Lilly and a c.1860 Julia in emerald green silk taffeta as options for Fergie, and they decided on the under-bust Lilly style to construct a dress around.
Photo Credits: Jason DeCrow/ AP Victoria Secret Fashion Show 2009
The show also featured two more Lilly under-bust corsets; one in herring bone plaid and the other in a red metallic fabric with an overlay of black lace. We also patterned the under-bust version of our 1880’s Alice corset to be worn with a Victoria’s Secret bra. This corset was made out of an extremely narrow, creamy silver metallic brocade fabric that was so unusually delicate and luxurious, I am certain it was a vintage kimono fabric.
Photo Credits: Jason DeCrow/AP Victoria Secret Fashion Show 2009
In 2010, we were fortunate to collaborate with Todd Thomas from the early development of the show. That year Heavenly Bodies, Tough Love, and Country were some of the design inspirations for the themed corsets, which were closer to wearable art than functional garments.
Working directly from Todd’s design sketches is a privilege; he is wonderfully creative with both his corset shapes and unconventional fabric choices. We made corsets out of a diamond-woven straw matting, wig lace, and cross-stitch embroidering canvas. It was exciting to find creative solutions for constructing corsets out of these vastly differing fabrics. The straw corset presented the most challenges. When completed, it was more molded into shape than it was sewn – when we finally top-stitched the seams into place, it held its shape so well that it barely needed the boning we put in! You can read about the construction process on our blog.
The Heavenly Bodies corset below is made of a wig lace–a sheer, impossibly delicate fabric intended for making wigs. It’s not what you might think would work for a corset, but perfect for a Victoria’s Secret Angel. You can read more about the construction of the wig lace corset here.
The 2011 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has been by far the most thrilling and challenging for us. We made 10 corsets for several of the themes: Ballet, Angels Aquatic, and I Put a Spell on You. The designs are closely guarded secrets that are only unveiled on the runway. Once we send our corsets off to the show, there is excitement down to the last minute as we wait to see how things will turn out.
This year, Todd Thomas’ designs and fabric choices evoked the essence of fragility. They are “breath-taking for the moment.” These ephemeral corsets are for one night only like Cinderella at the ball.
For Angel’s Aquatic we made a transparent wig lace corset which the Victoria’s Secret design team then encrusted with coral and pearls.
The I Put a Spell on You themed looks embodied the temporality of his designs with this all-in-one corset tailored in cotton eyelet flat-lined to translucent nude organza.
We created a new under-bust corset style in white cotton eyelet; also flat-lined to nude organza to achieve its delicacy.
Aside from its distinctive shape our Julia c.1860 style corset disappeared under layer upon layer of feathers.
This opaque Swiss dot striped cotton, as sheer as fabric comes was carefully matched with bust cups and a custom enameled front opening.
3) Wow! That is a lot of detail. The wig lace and straw corsets are especially amazing. Which leads me to my next question…what kind of direction does Victoria’s Secret give you when it comes to making the corsets? Do you pretty much have free creative reign or is there a very specific vision you’re asked to stick to?
It is very much a collaborative process. We design our own products, but when we do custom work, we enjoy combining creative forces with other designers or people with imaginative ideas for their own one-of-a-kind corsets.
For the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Todd Thomas is the designer, and we are the technicians bringing his two-dimensional drawings to life on the runway. He gives us free reign to interpret his design sketches into the physical shapes that take into account how gravity and physics apply to the fabrics and the person wearing them.
We start the process in late spring when he sends us his gorgeous design sketches, and we confer on what corset style might work with each one. He either has a clear vision to use one of the styles in our retail line of corsets, a style we developed for a past show or a new pattern that we create. The collaboration continues right up to the finishing details.
For example, the Tough Love corset from the 2010 show (shown below) was our 18th century shape styled with a ragged hemline. The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show team accented each bone channel with silver spiked studs.
The Country cross-stitch fabric corset was a pattern we developed to include hip gussets of vintage tatted lace and pleated chiffon. Their team cross-stitched the Victoria’s Secret logo. Whatever the choice of pattern, when you add the custom fabrics and final details you have something completely new and fresh.
4) It sounds like a complex process. How much time goes into making one of those corsets from start to finish?
Because we hand-make every corset we produce and are meticulous about the details, there are many steps that all take time. We make a sample to fit and critique; we true the pattern and develop a construction method. Only then do we start sewing the final garment. So the time varies based on the complexity and fabrics, but we want each corset to be a work of art.
We also spend a lot of time finding unique solutions for custom work. For example, the corsets in our retail line come with grommets in the back for a lace-up closure. In a fashion show, you don’t have time to unlace each grommet, so for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show we developed a quick-change method that we call speed lacing and now use for all of their corsets.
There are also different levels of finishing to the corsets we send to the show. We send the corsets ready to fit and they do the final steps, whether it’s a bit of detailing or an extensive appliqué. Some are complete and they may only add a few accessories. Some get a lot of detail added before the show. For example, with our straw corset, they added sheaves of wheat and straw appliqué over the whole corset. In some cases the corsets are barely recognizable, but our shapes show through.
5) Do you personally fit any of the Victoria’s Secret Angels or is a remote fitting?
We make a pattern based on the design sketches and send a sample to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show team to fit and give us feedback. When using styles we’ve made before, we make the corsets directly in the new fashion fabrics and send them ready for a final fit. All of our corsets have alteration points so they can be let out or taken in, which adds versatility for the final fitting and allows the corset to fit more than one model.
6) Amazing. How long have you been making corsets? And are there any other famous clients you can share with Lingerie Addict readers?
We have been making corsets since 1997. Over the years, Period Corsets’ retail line of historic corsets has grown to include 13 styles; each encapsulates the fashionable look of an era. We developed each corset by researching vintage corsets, historic photos and paintings and distilling a wide variety of examples from the time into one corset with classic simple lines. The distinctive attributes of these corsets are what have attracted the eyes of costume designers and stylists in the fashion world.
We’ve made corsets for celebrities, pop stars, opera singers, dames of the theatre and fashion models, including Madonna’s little lavender waist cincher corset for her “Sorry” video.
Mainly we make corsets for women everywhere who want unique, glamorous corsets of their own. Women all over have figured out they can make an elegant, sexy statement with their own signature corsets.
7) I love that you’re based in Seattle, especially since this isn’t an area many people associate with lingerie and corsetry. Are you very involved in the local lingerie, theatre, or burlesque scene?
Yes! At Period Corsets we make everything in our studio here in Seattle and are very proud to be part of the thriving theatre, performing arts, lingerie and custom clothier scene. We have supported Seattle non-profit performing arts organizations by donating a few corsets to their fundraising events.
In this economy we know how important it is to support businesses based in the US. In the apparel industry, especially, we all know how much cheaper it can be to buy things that come from other parts of the world. We prefer to buy our materials from domestic vendors. We also keep the needs of our amazing team of employees who have been with us since we started a high priority. We work hard to balance paying a living wage and providing benefits to our employees while keeping our corsets affordable for our customers.
We feel fortunate to be part of this amazing community. For instance, a shop manager from nearby theatre recently needed a few c. 1890 Theodora corsets for “The Importance of Being Earnest,” and she walked down the street to our studio to pick them up.
8) What expert advice would you have for my readers who are interested in buying their first corset?
We advise investing in a quality product made in the US from a company with great customer service. To get an idea about whether they really care about taking care of you and helping you find the right corset, you should do some research: Do they have happy clients and good feedback? Do they make the kind of corset you want? When you are buying something via the internet, you need to make sure you can communicate your ideas with a person on the other end. Call or email us and we’ll be happy to help you with any questions about your next corset.
9) It’s extremely cool that you make corsets for celebrities and the opera, but how would a “regular person” commission a corset from you? Do you accept commissions?
It is very easy! Go to www.periodcorsets.com. Choose your style, size and fabric and check out. We keep all of our styles in small to 2XL in stock and ready to ship within 7 business days. There is a size chart for you to determine your size after you’ve taken measurements. We are ready to help anytime from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday Pacific time. You can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions; to double check that you’ve chosen the right size, to pick the style that might suit your needs best or to consult on having a one-of-a-kind corset made to measure.
If you commission a custom corset, we estimate two to three weeks. To start your custom order, look at www.periodcorsets.com to see if the corset you are looking for is one of our existing styles with a few alterations. Then peruse Period Corsets on Etsy, which will show you examples of the many ways we customize our corsets with fashion fabrics or by altering the style lines. We are also happy to look over your design sketch or to research images of your dream corset. Once you have an idea of what you want and the range of our products, you can email or call me to get a quote.
We treat every individual as we would a professional designer. Your imagination is the limit! We are happy to create whatever strikes our client’s fancy, whether it’s a corset in Harris tweed wool for a dashing steampunk gentleman, or a red silk corset for a college student who wants it to match her graduation robes.
As Lingerie Addict readers know, all of life is a stage and a runway when you have the right lingerie/corset. We love to hear your ideas so we can make your corset a perfect fit.
What great advice! Thank you so much for your time, and for the great behind-the-scenes interview. I hope we see your work at many Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows to come!
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