This journey started like many before – at my leather retailer. I always feel like a child in a candy shop there. So many beautiful colours and textures. When I find an extraordinary looking hide, my mind immediately starts producing ideas.
This time it was this shining, juicy looking red leather. It reminded me so much of sweet, ripe cherries, I could almost taste them. A picture formed in my mind: A mixture of Jessica Rabbit and Moulin Rouge - definitely sexy, curvy, and sophisticated. When my eye fell on a darker, sleek, glossy red leather, the match was perfect. They looked so tasty together.
Finding the right pattern took quite some time. By trying a historical design from 1890 (featured in “Corsets” by Jill Salen), I discovered that the shape - although described as tight-lacing - wasn’t nearly curvy enough. But I liked the idea of its unusually formed bust gussets. So I drew a pattern with the “draft your own corset pattern” tutorial, put in the gussets and altered the rest until I was satisfied with the way the seams curved around the body. My credo is: Form is not only defined by silhouette, but also by cut.
Because I didn’t want to disturb the seam lines, I only boned the inner coutil layer. Eight spiral and two flat steel bones on each side provided enough support to hold the outer layer upright and smooth. Luckily my Adler industrial sewing machine handled the job beautifully.
Putting on a newly-finished corset is truly a sensual experience. Imagine you’re wearing a blindfold and little else. Someone special surprises you with a custom made corset and reaches around you to put it in place. At first, it feels cool on your skin, but it warms quickly. You detect a hint of leather. Being laced in, you’ll hear the slight swooshing of the lace and the gnarling of the material as it is pulled tight around you. You feel the constriction, the firmness and the texture of the two different leathers, one soft and dry, the other glassy and almost slick. The blindfold drops, and you see your image in a mirror: vibrant reds, an explosion of colour. You think of cherries and wine and everything that is delicious and exquisite.
model : Milena Wojhan
photo : Elizaveta Porodina
light : Josef Beyer
hair: Susan Voss - Redfern
make up : Heiko Palach