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Vanyanis “Ruby” Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the Vanyanis “Ruby” Corset Review video. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

 

Fit, length Center front is 12 inches long, the princess seam is 8.5 inches (4 inches above the waist, 4.5 inches below the waist), the side seam is 9.5 inches and the center back is 11 inches long.
Circumferential measurements: underbust is 28″ (rib spring is 6″), waist is 22″, and hip is 34″ (hip spring is 12″). The ribcage is very conical, and the hips are gently cupped.
Material 3 main layers: the fashion is red satin with black lace overlay. The strength fabric is herringbone coutil, and the floating lining is a soft black cotton.
Construction 7-panel pattern (14 panels total). Panel 4 is designed to curve over the hip so there is no true “side seam”. Construction: satin was flatlined to coutil, and panels assembled with the seam allowances facing inward (added topstitch for reinforcement; each seam was stitched at least 4 times for extra strength). Internal bone casings laid down, and covered by a floating lining.
Waist tape 2 cm wide (slightly less than an inch) cotton waist tape, secured “invisibly” between the layers of fabric.
Binding Made from strips of black duchess silk, machine stitched on outside and inside. Stitched in the ditch on the outside and tiny topstitch on the inside.
Modesty panel Awesome modesty panel in back – 4.75″ wide, finished in matching red satin / black lace overlay on outside, and cotton inside. Quilted and boned with 2 horizontal and 2 vertical bones, and comes with snaps to easily suspend the panel on the laces, or remove the panel when desired.
In the front there is a modesty placket, extending about 1/2″ out from the knob side of the busk, covered matching red satin with black lace.
Busk 11” long, with 5 loops and pins, the bottom two a little closer together. Wissner brand, standard flexible busk (1/2″ on each side) and a bit flexible, but there are added flat steels adjacent to the busk to add stiffness. The busk is also covered in a matte black powder coating.
Boning 30 bones total in this corset, 15 on each side. Single boned on the seams and additional bones in the middle of each panel, with ¼ inch wide spirals. The bones sandwiching the grommets are flat steel, and more flexible than usual, so it could curve to the lumbar spine. There are 4 flat steels by the busk (2 on each side).
Grommets There are 24, two-part size #0 grommets (12 on each side). They have a small-to-medium flange and are spaced equidistantly, and finished in gunmetal grey or pewter. No splits on the underside.
Laces Black 1/2″ wide double-faced satin ribbon (glides well through the grommets, holds knots and bows securely, long enough). Finished with nice metal aglets.
Price Available in sizes 20″ up to 30″.
Price is $795 AUD (converts to about $635 USD).
VIP mailing list members get $100 AUD coupon, which brings the price down to $695 AUD (about $550 USD).


Final Thoughts:

Vanyanis is a couture brand based in Australia, run by Lowana O’Shea.

This corset is the best quality OTR piece I’ve ever seen. Made with herringbone coutil, expertly-matched fine lace, black hardware, evenly distributed steels, and an insanely comfortable pattern, Vanyanis has set a new bar for factory-produced corsetry.

For the pattern of this corset, I believe Lowana mentioned that this started out as the same dimensions and silhouette as her “Alecto” corset (a standard size, made-to-order Vanyanis product made by Lowana herself, introduced back in 2014) – however, the “Ruby” Corset was cut to have points on the top and bottom edges and to ride a bit higher over the hip. The “Lilian” corset is a grey / silver satin, and cut more straight across the top and bottom edges, but still the same general pattern.

And of course, the “Ruby” and “Lilian” corsets were made in a factory under Lowana’s supervision, which is why she describes these as an “off the rack” collection as opposed to the usual “ready to wear”.

One of the best features about this corset is the painstakingly pattern-matched lace in this corset. Because the lace had to be cut to each panel and flatlined (as opposed to pieces overlaid when the whole corset was finished being assembled), Lowana says that there was quite a lot of time and care (and stress) put into this step at the factory, and quite a lot of fabric wastage as well as they had to think about having sufficient seam allowance on each piece. This drove up the price of the corset – but it has a truly stunning final effect.

Lowana says that this corset is definitely strong enough for waist training, but due to the delicate nature of the lace overlay, it might become “roughed up” over time, so do keep in mind that the more you wear this piece, the more worn it will look.

This is Lowana’s first OTR line and as such it’s a small run to start (only 25 of the Ruby and 25 of the Lilian corsets in all sizes). If these sell well, Lowana is interested in making more colors, styles, and perhaps extended sizes as well.

If you’d like to see my interview with Lowana of Vanyanis, click here. And if you’d like to visit her Vanyanis shop, click here.

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Ava Corsetry ‘Carmen’ Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Ava Corsetry ‘Carmen’ Corset Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length This style is standard sized: Center front is about 11.5 inches high, from underbust to lap is 9.5 inches, and the center back is 12.5 inches. Hourglass silhouette with rounded ribcage and rounded hip. Waist in this corset is 24″, ribcage is 30″ and lower hip is 34″.
Material 2 main layers, fashion fabric is red poly taffeta, and strength fabric is black herringbone coutil. Black floral lace and tulle on the decorative front panels and “hip fins”. Very lightweight corset!
Construction 5 vertical panels, with a 6th semi-circle hip panel. Constructed using the welt-seam method. Internal boning channels are made with strips of coutil, and the herringbone lining is semi-floating in a couple of places!
Binding Bias strips of matching red taffeta, machine stitched on both sides. I like how narrow and delicate the binding looks on this corset!
Waist tape 1 inch wide invisible waist tape, sewn between the layers. The partial tape starts at the seam between panels 1-2, and ends at seam between 4-5.
Modesty panel Back modesty panel is 6 inches wide and finished in the same red taffeta. Unstiffened and stitched onto one side of the back of the corset (easily removable). 1/2″ wide modesty placket in front.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side), and 10.5 inches long. It has 5 loops and pins, with the bottom two closer together. Two 1/4″ wide flat steels adjacent to the busk help to keep the abdomen flat.
Boning 16 bones total, 8 on each side. Two by the busk and 4 by the grommets are 1/4″ flat steels, while the side bones are likely spirals.
Grommets 24 two-part grommets, size #00, small flange, quite sturdy. Silver finish. The taffeta is pulling away from the grommets (see discussion below).
Laces Black flat shoe-lace style lacing, no spring, easy to pull and tie.
Price About £209 to commission the Carmen corset in your size. Upgrade to custom fit is very reasonable (starts at only £10 more) depending on how much your own measurements deviate from the standard size chart.

 

Carmen corset made by Ava Corsetry. Model: Miss Betsy Rose
Carmen corset made by Ava Corsetry. Model: Miss Betsy Rose. Click to go to Ava’s site!

The Carmen corset is one of the most creatively constructed corsets I’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing. It’s a clever combination of internal boning channels, and hidden boning channels to create a corset with a semi-floating fashion layer that allows for a comfortable semi-circular hip panel and decorative mini-pannier (hip fin). The corset is surprisingly lightweight overall, and the taffeta sits smoothly around the body. I’m usually not a “taffeta” type of girl, but I adore this corset.

The black lace against the fiery red fabric lends a certain Spanish flair, and I can’t help but wonder if the corset was named after the Bizet’s opera of the same name, based in Spain in the mid 19th century.

The only construction issue I found in the corset is that the taffeta started to distort in the back and pull away from a couple of grommets at the waistline. However, I have personally found that this is a property of taffeta – almost all of the taffeta corsets I’ve ever owned over the years have done the same thing, but this remains only superficial/ aesthetic damage – as long as the strength fabric does not distort, the grommet should not pull out. If I were to replace the grommet with another of a wider flange, the distortion wouldn’t be visible at all.

At the time I purchased this corset (February 2015), Ava Corsetry was operated by the incredible Danielle MacDonald. (The name Ava was inspired by the elegance of Ava Gardner.) The business has since changed hands and a new corsetiere (Lyzzy, who also works with Kiss Me Deadly) now runs Ava. Danielle was sure to choose her successor very carefully and ensures that her future customers remain in good hands. Check out the Ava Corsetry website here.

(Watch Habanera from Carmen below – with vocalists in genuine corsets!)