Since the big sale a few weeks ago made it clear that I really was serious about scraping all my past work and starting in a new direction, I have been asked countless times whether I will still be making corsets and what spurred my choice.
The crude answer that I have given a number of people is that I truly hope to never see another bloody corset in my life. I cant even begin to confess how oversaturated I am.
After nearly 18 years and thousands of items in moulding a feminine ideal, I feel that I have taken that trope as far as I can.
A short while ago I was going through the work of just over a dozen corsetierres and designers worldwide, all top of their game. Immaculately crafted work from all of them that I at various stages of my career would have been proud to put out, however in looking through probably a couple of hundred images I realized something that had been bothering me for a while but I hadn’t quite put my finger on it before – almost all corsetry with the exception of one or two truly standout pieces looks the same. After a dozen or two images it all blends into a mush of vintage princess and dominatrix shaped boredom.
A corset is a very specific entity with an iconic shape, and that for me for years was its intrigue – to push a very closed and limited brief as far as I possibly could.
To work in layers within that absolute – to create perfect proportions within an ultimate femininity. And to create that classisism for people regardless of the starting point, but I feel that I have explored and dissected that so far that there is nothing about it that holds any excitement or intrigue or mystery for me anymore.
I don’t wear corsets and haven’t for a long time with the occasional exception of an event or photoshoot where it is pretty much mandatory. I don’t feel comfortable in that femininity and don’t like seeing or feeling my body take that shape. It doesn’t hold the strength for me that it once did. I am not saying that corsetry or that kind of ultra femininity is wrong by any means. It is very beautiful when done well and worn by someone who is that way inclined. I did love it at one stage of my life and I am saying that it is wrong for me in this incarnation. That I have personally moved on and to continue to make a garment that I have taken a distaste to would be wrong and unfair on the client who deserves to have their item created with love.
I have lost my fascination with absolutes, with perfection, with caking something genuine with layers of paint and cloth until it becomes a slicker but lesser version of itself. A more palatable version. The paint peels and the cloth perishes, that is when things get interesting. When something real comes grasping out of the rawness between the archetypes we create.
I am interested in inbetweens. In junctions. In those weird areas that make little sense. I am interested in creating beauty out of the tiny flecks of things that don’t fit anywhere. To give them a sense of belonging and to bring them into the light. Or to dull the light to a silver sheen where you are never sure what you are seeing.
So no. I will not be making corsets in a form you may recognize anymore (unless you offer me a brief that fascinates me) but I will be exploring and plucking at the edges of body modification, armour and myth.