So I was first approached about this commission not by Kate herself but by her partner Jim. He wanted to buy her a custom corset as a gift. Fabulous! I was super keen and we were booking in first consultations within weeks.
However, in retrospect, I think this may have been a little soon for Kate. When I first spoke with her she was very unsure of what she really wanted. We had a long conversation about shape, colour, detail, fabrics and we settled on an initial idea for quite a simple line, demi bust corset in pale blue.
A little while later Kate came back for her first fitting, and it went very well. We had a few small adjustments to make but as they were quite small I suggested we do the second fitting via Skype (she lives in Manchester and I’m based in Surrey, not something I often suggest as I’d much rather do it in person but I was feeling confident). I made the adjustments, added more boning to the mockup and sent it off.
We arranged our skype meeting and it fit perfectly. However Kate wasn’t 100% happy. She had decided on a change of colour, which was no problem, but she was struggling to put into words what she wanted to change about the design. In a somewhat unorthodox approach I told her to draw all over the mockup to get it to look the way she wanted.
Well what arrived back with me was very different from what I’d originally envisioned. A lot more cording, hip gores and flossing. OK, not one to turn down a challenge, I decided to start over again. I redrew sketches in more detail using colour coding on bone channel and cording stitching. What resulted was a pattern of cording that was truly wonderful. Kate’s design of the cording over the hip gores was reminiscent of an Art Deco sun ray motif which sat in contrast to what was a very historical looking corset.
Delicate black lace ruffle around the bust and very subtle cording on the bone channels. This felt like a real modern twist to a period corset. I loved the finished item and was sad to post it off!
Sometimes clients don’t always know what they want. But through trial and error, and sometimes some unusual techniques, we get there in the end. And those corsets are often the most stunning.