Partially laced corset in khaki wool

En Vogue

Getting the call

I think we all have a few crazy dreams that we only reveal to a few select people. I certainly do. And one of mine was dropped into my lap, completely unannounced, on a rather stressful day in April. Getting the call from Vogue about contributing to the iconic September issue is something that I’m still waiting to fully believe. I thought it would sink in the closer we got to it becoming a reality but with Mario Testino’s images now released it still feels oddly as though it’s happened to someone else. Whilst simultaneously causing such extreme pride and excitement that it’s hard to know how to voice it!

Lacing up- the rustic ribbon sets off the muted olive tones perfectly.
Lacing up- the rustic ribbon sets off the muted olive tones perfectly.

On the cutting table

The stylist’s assistant contacted me with just over a week till the corset was needed for call-in’s. The brief called for something simple with military styling, of which I had nothing! So I decided to work on a new sample in my spare time and evenings that would meet the requirements of the shoot. They sent some images that had inspired the look they were creating, and I made a sketch of a design I thought would work. We agreed on a front lacing waspie in olive green wool with a sculpted, dipped shaping, symmetrical at upper and lower edges. The waspie was intended to be worn with coats, so I cut the pattern accordingly, allowing room for the bulkier garments.

The Vogue waspie in Orchid branded packaging
Ready to post- the completed Militaire waspie.

En Route

Needless to say, a hectic week followed, with much gnashing of teeth while waiting for components in the post! Why is there always a shortage of essential materials when emergency strikes! But carrying that parcel to the post office in time felt like a victory in itself. I even let the post lady in on why I was so excited about this particular parcel! It was some time later before I heard that the corset had actually been used for the shoot. So many garments are returned by magazines without being needed on the day. I had prepared myself for that eventuality, but it would have been such a disappointment nonetheless.

With the feature confirmed, I started to make plans to mark the launch with a mini collection. 

En Vogue

It was a long wait while time ticked by to the release of the magazine. Opening my copy the night before releasing our new collection was nerve wracking- I subscribe to Vogue, so I received my copy ahead of the official release date! But opening the front cover and discovering that the image of our corset had made it into the “Editor’s Letter” page was the most wonderful feeling imaginable. I love the raw look of the final image, and the strong colour contrasts which feel fresh and crisp. The strength of the pose is beautiful as well, challenging and full of attitude. And I won’t pretend that it wasn’t rather exciting appearing alongside Dior and Vuitton! I will leave you with the final image, Shot by Mario Testino, Model Mica Arganaraz, styled by Lucinda Chambers.

Our feature in Vogue Magazine, showcasing the Militaire waspie.

Published in Vogue- The Testino image.
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