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15 Corsetier(e)s I’ll be watching in 2014

As a bit of a more light-hearted post, I’ve decided to expose my personal covet-list. The only rules here are that I can’t have owned a piece from any of these makers in the past, they’re in no particular order, and it’s not necessarily supposed to be interpreted as my list of top 15 favourite corset makers of all time. Some of these I may be saving up for in the future, while others are somewhat pipe dreams to own. Scroll down to see 15 corset makers that I will be following closely in 2014 (no pressure or anything):

Bizarre Design. Photo: Jaap Broeders. Model: unknown

Jeroen Van Der Klis, the brain and skill behind Bizarre Design, engineers some amazing and unique corsets – yet he also has the ability to make even a simple black satin underbust corset look like the most wondrous wardrobe staple you will ever lay eyes upon.

Corsets & More on a client

Scroll through the galleries of Corsets & More for example after example of pure opulence. There is no corset style or design that is too complicated for Doris Müller! She is a master in corsetry, and my favourite discovery of 2013.

Clessidra Couture. Model: Sohui. Photo: Catherine Day Photography

Julia of Clessidra Couture is a bit of a Superwoman. She teaches corset making, she sells corset supplies and kits, she writes books, and somehow she still finds the time to make superb corsetry.

Royal Black Couture & Corsetry. Model: Threnody in Velvet. Photo: Iberian Black Arts

Royal Black can do no wrong. Creation after creation, her designs are increasingly innovative, intricate and awe-inspiring, and there’s no sign of her slowing down!

Anachronism in Action “Lady Loki” corset, on the designer

For years, people scoffed at the proverbial “Basket Weaving 101”. This corset by Anachronism in Action put these naysayers and snobs in their proper place, and completely changed my personal views as to what can be used as embellishment. Not to mention the incredible smooth finish, gorgeous earthy colour and amazing shape.

Ferrer Corsets “Crimson Passion” overbust with cups

Corsets are only made better with cups, and those cupped corsets are only improved by filigree jewelry. Ferrer Corsets offers it all in this fiery piece. My life is complete.

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Sin & Satin ribbon cincher, on the designer

Sin & Satin‘s ribbon cinchers have no side seam, and they’re also embellished with metallic lace. There is nothing to not love, and there are no words for how much I covet a piece like the one on the right.

Pop Antique. Model: Victoria Dagger. Photo: Mask

Temperatures 20° below freezing have me wishing for a cozy, warm knitted sweater corset by Pop Antique – plus, her standard sizes match my custom measurements almost exactly – I feel that it might be fate.

Metallic leather overbust by Atelier Sylphe

Take a historical corset, and a spectacular sculpture that should be in a museum. Put them together, and this doesn’t even do justice compared to the creations of Atelier Sylphe.

Lovesick Corrective Apparel. Model: Jade Vixen. Photo: Christophe Mourthé

Dear Diary, day 1174 without a Lovesick Corset in my possession. They make stunning work, and their studio is an hour away from me – so close, yet so far; my commission inquiries have received no reply so I’m left to pine after their work from afar. Perhaps one day I’ll gather the courage to try again.

Daze of Laur. Model: Laura Rubin. Photo: Jeremy Tavan.

I check Daze of Laur‘s website regularly – if not to see updates of her creations, then to read the little Easter Eggs on Laurie’s constantly changing “title” in the header! (She also studied life sciences in uni and I kinda want to be her friend.)

Clair de Lune overbust by Angela Friedman

Angela Friedman. Make it a household name. Because a well-supporting, properly-fitting overbust corset is not a want, it’s a need.  Just look at that pattern drafting, it’s magical.

Waisted Couture overbust. Model: Miss Mosh.

Even the simplest underbust corsets from Waisted Couture have an incredibly smooth finish with a neat nipped-in waistline. According to a fan and client, her training corsets are also nearly indestructible. I’m more than willing to put this to the test.

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Wilde Hunt Platinum leather bridal overbust corset

Before Wilde Hunt, I had never known that such dreamy, ethereal and romantic pieces could be fashioned from hardy leather. This piece has left me wondering if it’s possible to throw a wedding without actually getting married, just so I can wear something this spectacular.

Dita von Teese for Mr. Pearl

Mr. Pearl. Because no list of coveted corsets is complete without Mr. Pearl. Owning a piece from him is the ultimate pipe dream of this list. He is elusive, rarely spotted in public, and doesn’t leave a trace as to where he has been except for a few polished photos and the appearance of the occasional breathtakingly magnificent piece of art. I can imagine that centuries from now, stories of Mr. Pearl will be spread around the world as he’s promoted to the status of a magical, mythological figure.

Which corset makers will you be watching in 2014? Let me know in a comment!

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Where to Buy Corsets Smaller than 18 inches

Waisted Couture 16" custom overbust (Model: Miss Mosh)
Waisted Couture 16″ custom overbust (Model: Miss Mosh)

A new permanent gallery is now up! It’s easy to find standard-sized corsets that start at an 18-inch waist, but a small portion of the population is small-framed and have a natural waist of less than 22 inches (hard to believe, but they do exist) and they may want a corset that’s smaller than 18 inches. Very dedicated tightlacers may also choose to train past 18 inches and their options are slightly limited. Head over to my new gallery of teeny corsets, where you’ll find several makers who are experienced in creating corsets smaller than 18 inches!

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Where to buy Overbust Corsets – Full Bust Edition

Note that this post is a copy of the same one under the “Research Corset Brands –> Guided Galleries” menu. It is part of a collection of articles to help corset enthusiasts shop more wisely.

Most off-the-rack corsets cater only to relatively small-busted corseters, and it can be difficult to find a standard corset that fits D+ cups.* If your bust size is over about an F cup then it is almost impossible to find a standard sized corset to lift, support and cover your bust appropriately. The ideal overbust corset (in my opinion) should fully encompass the breast tissue and prevent you from spilling over or popping out of the corset. It should also give your bust a moderate lift, but not flatten the breasts like pancakes and not push up the breasts so high that it creates a chin rest.

It’s almost guaranteed that you will need to find a custom overbust to cover and flatter your bust, and not every corsetiere is experienced in fitting overbusts for top-heavy women. A well-fitted overbust can be quite healthy for women with large or heavy breasts, as it takes considerable pressure off the neck, shoulders and upper back by supporting the bust from below, as opposed to having shoulder straps from bras cutting into the flesh. Some medical professionals have recommended overbust corsets as part of treatment/ prevention of thoracic outlet syndrome and torn scalene muscles from heavy breasts.

While it’s the best situation to have a corsetiere give you an in-person mockup fitting (or several) to ensure the best outcome possible, not everyone has a corsetiere living closeby. (To check if you have any corsetieres in your vicinity, see my Corsetiere Map.) The next best thing is to find a corsetiere online who is experienced at fitting large busts. The following is a non-exhaustive list of corsetieres that I’ve found to give beautiful bust shaping for larger cup sizes in conventional (non-cupped) overbusts. If you’re interested in cupped overbusts, I have a separate gallery here.

What Katie Did Storm overbust, £180

There is only one OTR corset I have tested that’s suitable for larger cup sizes: What Katie Did keeps the Storm overbust in stock in black satin. Drafted specifically for cup sizes D-F, it is the only OTR conventional corset I’ve personally tried that didn’t flatten my bust and made me feel safe against any “boobling out”. In addition to the Storm overbust, WKD can also make their Laurie and Sophia corsets to suit larger cup sizes, with a 4-week turnaround.

Eikhell Edwardian overbust "1901", €420 for made-to-measure
Eikhell Edwardian overbust “1901”, €420 for made-to-measure

Eikhell wrote the manual on supporting large busts – literally! Isabelle, the corsetiere behind Eikhell, has written a two-part instructional article on Foundations Revealed, showing other corsetieres how to fit and support heavy busts with overbust corsets. The first article is available to read for free – the 1901 overbust however, is €420 (about $570) for a custom fit.

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Jupiter Moon 3 custom overbust (modelled by Beth), starts at $200

Jupiter Moon 3 is incredibly talented at making corsets for all shapes and sizes, and she does not shy away from ample-busted clientele. Jennifer has said that the overbust corset shown above in 2011 was the most custom overbust she has ever made, and she’s won the respect of top-heavy women everywhere. Her bare-bones made-to-measure overbust corsets start at $200 and she offers a huge number of upgrades and further customization in styles.

Angela Friedman overbust, $555 for semi-custom

New York designer Angela Friedman makes magic with her beautifully supportive overbusts for the fuller-busted. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then you can see that the many panels running down the front of  her custom-fit corsets work to create a superbly smooth, highly-customized overbust with a round bust shape – no excessive push-up, no flattening of the bust and no tissue spillover.

Bespoke Victorian lattice demibust recreation by L’Atelier de LaFleur (modelled by Mina herself), starts at $500

Certainly not your typical plain overbust: Mina LaFleur made waves with this historical recreation of a traditional Victorian overbust. Historical overbusts are not usually overbusts in the sense that we think of them; they’re actually closer to demibust (half-covering the breast) with a chemise worn underneath to cover the rest of the chest. Mina slightly altered the pattern to curve a little more over the breast and prevent flattening or spillage. As a large-busted corset-wearer herself, she understands the need for a comfortable and flattering overbust. Her bespoke overbusts start at just $500 including toile fitting.

Crikey Aphrodite “Hera” gored overbust corset, starts at £350 (Photo: Louise Cantwell, Model: Francesca Dunn)

What’s not to love about this Hera overbust by Crikey Aphrodite? Alison, the owner of Crikey Aphrodite, has worked as a professional bra-fitter for years – knowledge that she’s expertly incorporated into her characteristic gored overbust corsets made especially for fuller busts, creating a superb lifted and rounded bust area. This overbust starts at £350 which includes a toile fitting.

Totally Waisted! robin's egg overbust from 2011
Totally Waisted! Robin’s egg overbust

This robin’s egg blue overbust from Totally Waisted! Corsetry is an exquisitely shaped piece from early 2011. The curve around the bust combined with the external boning channels and delicate flossing makes for a soft, feminine piece that still effectively shapes and controls curves. Kate is knowledgeable in fitting both fuller busts and smaller busts, and she takes commissions for custom overbusts through Etsy.

Purple patent leather overbust by Atelier Sylphe Corsets
Purple patent leather overbust by Atelier Sylphe Corsets

This avant-garde purple overbust was created by Joëlle at Atelier Sylphe Corsets for Alina, the lead singer of Markize. It’s designed for a fuller cup size and wider hip spring and features a plunge neckline while still keeping the bust fully covered. The majority of the corsets sold through Atelier Sylphe are special one-off samples, but do contact Joëlle directly if you’re interested in a custom commission.

Corsets & More custom overbust corset, starts at €340
Corsets & More custom overbust corset, starts at €340

Whatever your shape, size, corseting experience, age or gender, Doris Müller will create a corset to shape and flatter – large busts are no challenge to her. To be truthful, I can’t believe I’ve gone so long without knowing about Corsets and More, as Doris excels in nearly every style of corset. The overbust featured above combines a modest sweetheart bustline that effectively covers the entire cup, while still accentuating a tiny waist and impressive hipspring – and beautifully mirror-matching the stripes to create perfect chevrons down the center front.

Electra Designs
Electra Designs overbust modelled by Bride Stephanie

More stripes! Electra Designs is also accomplished in making sweetheart overbust corsets that lifts the bust to a natural level, with cups that round over the breast to keep the bust in place while looking both attractive yet tasteful. With a custom corset, the bustline can be raised to show almost no cleavage, or lowered to expose more of the décolletage while still feeling safe and secure in your corset.

Other corsetieres who can accommodate full-busted clients include:

*Please note that D+ cups are generally regarded as “fuller” cup sizes, but whether an individual can fit into a standard overbust corset obviously depends on the band size. I have not personally tried every corset brand in this list, nor do I necessarily endorse every company featured in my Guided Galleries. This is for informational purposes only. Please visit your doctor if you would like to start corseting for any reason, and especially if you are searching for an overbust for medical purposes.

If you enjoyed this article, perhaps you would also like the Guide for Cupped Overbust Corsets.