I dabbled at making corsets when I was at university, so I understand the basics but I never allowed myself to be truly creative. I’m at a disadvantage because I’m not the typical creative person. I don’t have waves of ideas or see inspiration everywhere I go. I buy fabric, trims, embellishments, and the like, when I see them and appreciate them on their own. Only after do I start creating links between them and seeing what looks stunning together. Somehow, it works.
On my last fabric trip, I was drawn to all the blues. I’ve been wanting very blue corset for a year. The trouble always is you can’t always find the exact shade you want. That prompted me to start making my own. If I could find the desired shade, I could have what I had been coveting.
I started a red and black corset using cheap material a couple of months ago. I wasn’t arrogant enough to assume I’d just hop back onto the saddle and peddle off into the distance. I needed to see if I could still sew in a straight line! Halfway through, I realised I could still do it and abandoned my first attempt. No use wasting the metal!
I got a blue Chinese brocade fabric and didn’t want the usual black binding. After putting the fabric against every ribbon in the shop, I decided on gold. So far all the patter pieces have been cut out and I just need to start putting them together.
Let’s start the only place I can… Camden Town.
In an ideal world, everyone would know exactly where it started. There’s usually an all-encompassing, earth-shattering moment where fanaticism begins. That’s not quite how it happened to me. My passion was a slow burner; a deep love that grew uncontrollably without my knowledge.
For this reason, I can only start from the day that makes the most sense: the day I bought my first corset. I say this loosely because, by my standards, it doesn’t count as a corset.
I was seventeen and our sixth form was having a ball. Now, let’s assume I was already in love with corsets because I already knew I had to go to Camden and buy one. This is my only hint at how I began to love them. Things may be different now but I remember getting off the tube and being surrounded by the most beautiful gothic women. Dark eyes, dark hair, dark lips and tightly laced. I envied their corsets and the curves it created. There was something sensual about the way the corset shaped them and I knew I needed that in my life.
The first “corset” I bought was one that zipped up at the side and had satin ribbon for lacing. It was in no way supposed to be the real thing but I loved the blood red and black sparkle it had and it would more than do the job. The moment I slipped it on, I knew I needed more. I wanted the rigorous lacing, the brutal structure, and the uncompromising curves. From that moment on, I was on the hunt and Alejandra was born.