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In Memoriam: Velda Lauder

Velda Lauder with one of her creations.

Over the weekend, I received some incredibly sad, incredibly unexpected news. Velda Lauder, the world-famous corsetiere, passed away on Friday. It's always distressing when someone you know, respect, and admire dies, but it's even worse when death comes during that person's physical, mental, and creative prime.

Velda Lauder Corset as modeled by Bex Paul.

As a blogger, I've been enamored of Velda's work for years. She was one of the first luxury corsetieres I encountered online, and I remember feeling a shiver of delight at her richly worked creations. Completely fantastic and utterly wondrous, all of her corsets were undeniably beautiful, but when I was finally able to see them up close at the Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris, I was able to appreciate how perfectly crafted they were too. These were heirloom pieces; the kind of corsets you could archive or pass on to your children and grandchildren. In fact, many of you are likely familiar with Velda's work through one of her most famous clients, Dita von Teese, shown in her namesake 'Dita' corset below.

Velda Lauder 'Dita' corset as modeled by Dita von Teese.

Speaking personally, I only met once Velda face-to-face (at the Paris lingerie show mentioned above), but even that one time I was amazed by her warmth, kindness, and generous spirit. Make no mistake, Velda was a "big deal." She made corsets for celebrities, models, and fashion icons. She wrote an entire book on the subject of corsets.Velda could have been aloof. She could have ignored me. She could have assigned me to one of her assistants. Instead, she took the time to really talk with me, not just about her work but also about herself. And the force of her personality was truly impressive.

Velda Lauder corset as modeled by Morgana.

I won't disrespect Velda's memory and the memories of her friends and family by insisting we were close. But I will say that I wish we had become closer. Velda was one of the people I most looked forward to seeing again when I visit London next year, and it hurts me to know now that will never happen. Because Velda was absolutely someone worth knowing better.

Velda Lauder Swarovski Crystal Corset.

Dear Velda, you will always be missed. You were an amazingly talented designer and author, and I wish I could have been one of the people to call you friend. May you rest in peace.

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Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

23 Comments on this post

  1. Steve Kemp says:

    I’m seriously behind the times here, as I have only just heard about the passing of Velda in 2013. As a fashion photographer in the 1990s, I can honestly say that I did my best work with Velda and her wonderful creations. I will always remember her beauty, warmth, charm and amazing creativity. RIP Velda

  2. Ruby says:

    I just heard this news and am shocked and extremely saddened. I first met Velda at Erotica many years ago, when a stunning silver leather corset on her display grabbed my attention. I was immediately struck by the workmanship and quality of her creations, which was, very clearly and by far, the finest I’d ever known; I’ve never found better. I was also struck by the genuine warmth of her personality, her consummate professionalism, and the natural ease with which she communicated and made you feel special. She made the silver corset for me, and more pieces after that, which were pure magic and remain the most prized items in my wardrobe. She was my secret weapon. She made the process fun, and I’ll always remember her welcoming me to her studio with a big, beaming smile. I thought I’d always be able to visit her, again and again, for years to come. The world has lost a very special person, a rare talent, and an even rarer human being. I feel lucky to have met her.

  3. delilah says:

    since the death of Velda Lauder its been extremely difficult to find their company or Website, My company is very interested in purchasing more of their quality products.
    Do you have any information on how to contact or locate them?
    Any information in this fashion quest would be much appreciated.
    Thank you and keep up the great work!

  4. I too was also greatly saddened by the sudden passing of my new dear friend Velda. She passed just shortly after completing my specially designed bespoke corset for me. I think it is stunning and would love to share Velda’s final piece with everyone. Look me up on FB or let me know where to send the photo’s

  5. Corina Voller from Vollers Corsets says:

    Very upset to hear an interesting and exciting person within the corset industry has passed away.
    Rest in peace

  6. delilah says:

    I ordered several hundred dollars worth of Velda Lauder
    unfortunately it was the day before her untimely and sad demise.
    now the website is closed down I have an unfilled yet paid for order.
    and cant seem to be able to get a response/reply or refund.
    can anyone help.

  7. Vicki Lord says:

    Velda was an amazing lady. Im in shock that we have lost her:-( I’ve worked with Velda a few times and she became a friend of mine. Her drive and ambition to be creative inspired me in so many ways. We created some amazing looks together! Her love for Yoga and giving me great tips on how to breath through my right (or left! I always got confused with that one;-D) nostril to keep me calm in difficult moments! Velda my darling I will miss you like crazy:-( R.I.P to the best corset designer ever xxxxxx

  8. Susan Hunter says:

    Desperately sad to hear about Velda. She was such a talent. I met her about three years ago in Paris. We were so excited, she was such a find.
    Susan Hunter (Dublin)

  9. tatyana says:

    Thank you for taking the time and to write this and also for giving your lovely sentiments. Velda is my cousin. It is a terrible, shock and I am left so sad and wishing I had spent more time with her. It is a big comfort to see how many people she has touched and how many people admire her work. Thank you for this <3 and bless you. Tatyana

  10. Merci beaucoup for Velda. I knew Velda and I am devasted…still can’t realize that I’ll never see her gain.
    What you told about her is so true. She was (I hate writing “was”) warmful, peacful , wise, adorable, incredibly talented and modest. I know we’re all mortals but I feel like it is not fair, it breakes my heart.
    Take care.

  11. Very sad to hear of Velda’s passing. An wonderful artist and creator who will be dearly missed. Thank you for helping to make the corset world flourish.

  12. I was shocked and very sad to hear the news about Velda. She’s been an inspiration to me especially over the last few years starting up on my own as a corsetiere. I bought her book and was intrigued to know we had a lot in common, raised & trained as designers in Dublin, worked in Brown Thomas in Dublin and even relocated to London at the same time. Sadly I never met her, and however shocking it is she passed away at her peak, it is nice to know she left her mark and persued her passions without compromise. I will continue to be inspired by her and not forget that she truly was remarkable in every way.


  13. I met Velda in 2005 at our first tradeshow, when I knew no-one. As you’ve described above, she was so warm and for me so welcoming & supportive. We’ve worked together over the past 2 years on the Lingerie Lovebomb campaign and I just can’t believe she has gone. There are a bunch of us small UK design companies and it’s such a pleasure to meet up at the seasonal tradeshows in Europe and she will be sincerely missed. Such a talent. This is sad, sad news.

  14. Kirk says:

    Wow. I received her a book a few years ago as a gift and have been following her work ever since. She has definitely been an inspiration to some of my creations, someone’s corset construction and fit which I aspire to. Since finding your post I have been trying to find more information about her passing and finding very little. Thanks for the update. Still feeling a bit in shock about it.

  15. Maggie says:

    Very sad, but a loving tribute to her work and spirit.

  16. Sandie Wilson says:

    Rest in Peace Velda.
    I too was in the planning stages with Velda for my bespoke wedding outfit. I am so shocked and saddened by the news as I never knew Velda as a friend but her charm shone through.
    She will be truly missed :-(

  17. Alex says:

    I brought Velda in to loan us corsets and do the styling on the Puppini Sisters “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” video I directed, after seeing some of her work online. She was just an amazing person — down to earth, humble, excited/enthusiastic, creative… not only did she bring some of her own gorgeous work, she also brought jewellery and lingerie from other young British and Irish creators. Her little studio in the Holloway Road was like a treasure cave of prety inspiration.

    The thing about a Velda corset is even the stock ones (not made to measure) were not only super flattering, but super comfortable too. The girls in the band are three very different body shapes and they were all converted to Velda fans. I’ll miss Velda. We only worked together that once but like Treacle, I really wanted to get to know her better.

  18. derek flynn says:

    Lovely tribute. We were kids together in Dublin. Velda at sixteen.. With that look of interest in her eyrs.she retainrd that very sad. Nighty night now Vel.xxxxxxx

  19. Karen Whybro says:

    A lovely tribute. I was in shock hearing the sad news. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the pleasure to meet Velda in real life, but we often tweeted & emailed about various things & sadly never got round to meeting. We’ve lost a very talented lady. Thoughts are with her family & friends x

  20. Steph says:

    Such sad news, the world has lost an amazing person it will be a sadder place in the industry :( RIP Velda

  21. Anna S. says:

    This is such a lovely post. There’s been so many beautiful and loving responses to her passing, I hope that gives her family and friends some warmth, to know how loved she was! RIP Velda.

  22. KathTea says:

    Rest in peace Velda. I was planning a custom corset with her and it’s sad to know I won’t be able to continue discussing ideas directly with her ever again :(

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