December 5, 2011

"Breathtaking for the moment"-- Making corsets out of organza and eyelet fabrics for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

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--"Breathtaking for the moment"-- I had to start by quoting Todd Thomas  because it sums up the delicacy of his designs for the I Put a Spell on You section of the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. "Fragile" was the other inspiration word for this years corsets. Well here is how it's done...

from the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show design room in NYC

The collaboration begins when Todd Thomas, the fashion show collection designer sends us his costume sketches. We decide how to create this confection of watercolor and pencil into something real, three dimensional made in cotton eyelet, organza fabrics and steel bones.

This is the design and the final all-in-one corset in the show.
Photo courtesy of Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2011
 Lukas Jackson Reuters, sketch by Todd Thomas


First we make a new pattern based on the design sketch and the measurements we are given. Then we make a simple mockup out of plain fabric for fitting and to check how the design and our patterning choices work on the model.

Photo property of Period Corsets®


After the fitting we make the changes specified and do some tests with the fashion fabrics to see how they will work as a corset. We decided  it needed two layers of the nude organza as a light and transparent yet strong lining to support the very lightweight eyelet and the steel bones. See below: here are all the pieces cut out and ready to sew together.
Photo property of Period Corsets®

Carefully pining and lining up the centerfront to match. Flat-lining each piece of eyelet and organza together into one.
Photo property of Period Corsets®

Then we seam each piece to the next. Here O'rion is working on side of the front. You can see the curve were the bust cup will go in.
Photo property of Period Corsets®

The cups are in! They have an extra piece of structural nude fabric so they will hold the shape. The top is finished with eyelet piping. The centerfront is prepped and ready to put the front opening busk in.
Photo property of Period Corsets®

The Busk is in! We hand enamel the busk and all the fastenings white so they will disappear into the garment. Here they are, the front and back ready for finishing the leg openings with lingerie elastic.
Photo property of Period Corsets®

The back opening is pressed and sticthed and ready for it's speed lacing treatment. It does not get grommets like a regular corset. Fashion shows have quick changes!

Photo property of Period Corsets®

The final steps: apply trim and sew it togther with it's adjustable side seams as always.
Photo property of Period Corsets®,
design sketch by Todd Thomas for the 2011 Victoria's secret fashion show

It's ready to be shipped off to New York. Next time we see it it will be on the runway at the Victoria's Secret fashion show.
Photo courtesy of Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2011
photo credit Bauer Griffin


To read more about the behind the scenes work we do for the Victoria's Secret fashion show you might be interested to read this interview of us by The Lingerie Addict "An Interview with Period Corsets®, the corset makers for the Victoria's Secret Fashion show"

To see all seven of the corsets we made for the show this year click here

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