LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
GREETINGS TO OUR READERS
after a long, but corseted absense! Yes, I have been daily wearing our newest ROMANTASY creation...an adorable "point Counter Point" waist cincher! It's a great way to start corseting, right "off the peg" as they say in Europe, in sizes from petite to Extra Big Beautiful Woman. Ordering info in posted below. Suffice it to say that this is a great "starter" corset for the newcomer, or for the experienced corset wearer who just wants to maintain body shaping during the day, or nightime, without wearing a tight-lacing corset.
Ann at Bridal Faire in BR Creations pink brodade corset, next to Wedding corset
OUR PCP CINCHER
is not a tight lacer as it reduces the waist about 3 inches per standard size. But it is comfortable and the profile is definitely hourglass.
WE HAD A LOVELY VISIT FROM MICHAEL GARROD
mid April, and an inspiring lecture on his most notable customers during his 15 years in the corset making business! About 40 people showed up at the boutique to listen to him, as well as Dorothy and also Sheri Jurnecka of Creative Corsets, sewing exclusively for our retail boutique. Sheri had us in stitches, recounting her developing love of costuming and corset making on her childhood "trolls"...I never knew she had such a droll sense of humor!
Michael Garrod with Silvia and Lewis Johnson of BR Creations
WE ALSO MET one of Michael's stellar tight lacing students from Stockton, who attended the lecture and met her corset maker for the first time. This student joins the ranks of the world's most tightly laced and reduced ladies. It appears that her waist is 17" laced, down from about 26 or 18" Incredible progress, and self-inspired without any encouragement at all, accomplished in just two years if I remember right.
AND THANKS TO MICHAEL GARROD
of True Grace Co. for finally clarifying the definition of "tight lacing". We are working together on a glossary to include in our new corset catalog, "The Mystery of Corsets" due out September 1, and I learned that a tight lacing corset reduces one at least 4" from a normal waist size. Also implied in that definition is the ability to wear the corset for an extended length of time, say 6-8 hours or more. Waist reduction, according to Stuart of C&S Constructions, is the process of gradually reducing the tightness to which the corset can be laced.
corset enthusiast from London, and I are in the process of writing our first book on corseting and hopefully will be interviewing inspirational corset wearers such as our new friend from Stockton. If you know of anyone who has an abiding love of corsets no matter the extent, initiation or reason for wearing, plus an interesting personal history and might be interviewed, please let us know. We deeply appreciate any leads you can give us. Men as well as women are invited to tell us their story, or refer us to their corseted friends and mentors.
Ann & Corine of JC Creations
at English Corset Enthusiasts' Reception,
London, October 1996
|LONDON'S INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER FEATURED PANDORA AND ANN in the April 4 issue! Write us if you'd like a copy. Pandora struck yet another blow for the progress of corseting in the world of fashion and fetish by her humorous, educated and right-on comments! Go, Pandora!
Ann & Constance of C&S Constructions at Vollers Corset Co.
Portsmouth England, Oct 1996
We're in the midst
of a major business transition this summer which has caused us to postpone the Third Annual Grand Corset Celebration until next spring. We are locating new premises for our boutique as we have to deal with major termite reconstruction work! We also may move back in, if we can negotiate an acceptable lease with our landlady, not the easiest of persons to deal with, I assure you!
So if you have any time and are local, and can help with our move in late July or August, please call the shop at 415-673-3137 to let us know how you can help. When we know we'll let you know our new location!
With all best and hugs to all of you newest corset customers and wearers, brides who ordered wedding dress/corsets this spring from us, and new PCP enthusiasts! Thank you for your support, for your patience with our transition to a new webmistress, Lisa, who promises to keep our newsletter up to date and our corset site better "womaned" (as well as our other product lines...watch for major reorganization and tightening of our site soonest).
Ann Grogan, Owner
Corsetting for Men
|Our clientele continues apace to include a significant number of men who love corsets. We are quite comfortable fitting gentlemen and advising on the proper style for the goals each has. Our new corset catalog will include a special section on this topic. "Magi", one of Romantasy's stellar male corset customers, modeled Ann's corsets at the April gathering on corseting and incredibly laced down to a closed 20" from a natural waist of 28"! She was adorable in her Japanese persona, and very sexy in platform strappy sandals, miniskirt, stretch top and Betty Page wig! We'll post some photos soon, if not now.||We also had a first corset order from T.E. shown in his BR ivory corset. After much consultation we placed his order with BR for the reason that he wanted comfort yet durability and the ability to wear it 24 hours a day while he travelled away from home. He keeps us informed on his considerable progress, sleeping in it overnight within the first week! When he attended Michael's lecture we closed it all the way for him at a 4" reduction, just 3 months after receipt! He's a new devotee of the pleasures of tight lacing and we expect he'll be trying a True Grace of C&S soon! Men should not hestitate to drop by the boutique or send us email inquiries to assist select the proper corset style and corset maker from our distinguished bank of corsetiers. Be sure and tell us if you wish a female or a male waist, and the purpose of corseting!|
Michael Garrod of True Grace Corsets
|The stiffener which has been fitted to the front of a corset has been in existence for many centuries. At one time it was made of wood, then metal.
When small waists became fashionable in the early 19th century it meant that a great deal of lacing had to be employed in order to open it out sufficiently. The split busk with hooks and studs was born and remains in use to this day.
The shape and length has varied enormously. It has been straight, wedge shaped or spoon shaped. The longest busk I have personally seen was one fitted to a corset belonging to Ethel Granger...18 inches! This was probably manufactured by her huusband, Will Granger, was spoon shaped, and two inches wide at its broadest point! I have a replica of this corset which I made myself with considerable difficulty!
The supply of busks these days is very limited. There is only one manufacturer in the United Kingdom, Steels and Busks Ltd of Leicester. At the turn of the century they employed 1,00workders solely devoted to making metal components for corsets. Now they have only 20. They only make lightweight busks, suitable for moderate lacing.
|Heavy busks are obtainable from Wilhelm Wissner in Goppingen, Germany. I don't know any other manufacturers worldwide. They also make spoon busks, which in this day and age is quite remarkable.
The only source of wedge busks that i know is from Streifeneder in emmerring, Germany. They are wholesale stockists, so it is quite possible that manufacturing of these items no longer takes place. I am now aware of any other busk manufactureres in Europe.
the continued availability of busks remains in doubt. The demand has decreased over the last three or four decades, and at some point it may no longer be economical to produce them. I have been forecasting this to happen by the year 1000 but i hope I am wrong!
Busks are expensive items, ranging between $1.25 and $15.00. It is worthwhile recycling them, especially spoon busks. Other corsetry components are less valuable, but also under threat. More in my next article.
FREE SET OF CORSET INFORMATION
Just send us email or snailmail to 199 Moulton St, San Francisco 94123, and we'll send you a set of three corset photo postcards plus a fourth on our exclusive pheromone perfume, and one each of our two corset brochures...FREE!
NEW CORSET CATALOG DUE OUT SEPTEMBER 1
If before August 1 you reserve an advance copy by mailing us a check or credit card info for $15 we will list you for a copy of our next corset catalog, "The Mystery of Corsets". This second catalog will be 48 pp. long with 8 pp in color and 99% new corset photos.
We finished four shoots with Jill, our model from Canada flying in last April and May, plus what a lovely day at the Queen Anne Hotel in SF, shooting in the Bridal Suite and all over the beautiful lobby, sitting room, etc. Our firend, Jeanette Vonier, completed yet another day in her studio creating a "Ceopatra" photo that is unbelievable...an 8 ft. boa slithering all over the model in an Ann-designed PCP cincher for Cleo and slave...You'll love the photo.
We'll have a release party planned soon, so we hope you can come. We might even have the boa around for petting...or maybe even Cleopatra, her corseted-self!
It was most pleasurable talking to you just now; seeing that your business works with men as well as women was heartening, and it sounds like you truly enjoy what you do. Thank you for taking my catalog order; I should be in touch soon with further questions or requests.
Well, that's it for this month.