FROM THE EDITOR
SPECIAL HOLIDAY EDITION - END OF THE YEAR 1999
End of the century--beginning of forever! It feels like a very significant change coming, one I hope will bring you -- and me -- lots of peace and prosperity! I've worked hard to simplify my life during the past twelve months, and at this time of year, I want to reaffirm what is valuable and long-lasting, versus ephemeral and superficial. I want to acknowledge important life lessons the universe has sent, and honor the wisdom I have gained.
I learned that my body will resist the truth for only so long, then by virtue of injury or accident, it tells me to slow down, count my blessings and continue on. Luckily, a minor car accident in September resulted in nothing of ill consequence, and everything of giving me a new opportunity: to count my blessings for not being hurt or hurting anyone, and to seize the opportunity to avoid replacing my car and learn to take advantage of our wonderful San Francisco public transit system!
In October, my sister gifted my mother and me with a visit to my first "home" in Port Arthur, Texas, where we re-newed valuable but under-nourished and overlooked lifelong friendships with our neighbors, the Moores. We reminised over antique postcards collected by Larry Moore since 1947, even one from my grandmother Spangler, and we toured the little house where I played from Kindergarten to third grade.
The den my deceased father built was still there, untouched over the years; I felt his presence. The bedroom where mom painted butterflies on the walls was still there, although the butterflies had flittered off to investigate other sunny pastures and imaginary blossoms. A prayer given over cake and coffee later reminded me of how fortunate we are to have happy memories to share amongst us "aging" friends and relatives.
Ann in "non-customary" angelic position,
relaxing with Tea Party guests!
Late this month I will enjoy the visit again from my dear friend Martina, one of our District Consultants, from Cologne, Germany with her friend and son. Too long we haven't seen each other and shared the stories of our lives, consoled each other for our battles won and lost, and encouraged each other to continue in our committed struggle to bring life and lightness to life.
When the student is ready, the teacher--or teachers, will come. This fall I found a wonderful, talented and beautiful new webperson and teacher of html, Anneka. With her guidance for over a month, I learned a bit to help me create and change my own website, and feel more and more comfortable with this brave new world of cyberspace. Plus, Anneka is a Sevillana born in Spain, just my favorite country to visit because I can speak their language! What fun practicing my Spanish again! Then I met Jim Cherry and it looks like Jim will take over and really help me move my site forward into the cyberspace world of corsetry. And our friend Melanie form Langenfeld, Germany, is teaching herself html and has said she would help...so there I am, happy as a clam!
And I finally, I hope, learned that a round peg cannot fit into a square hole. My work has to have something to do with creating joy in someone else's life. Once I realized that, this round peg resigned her position directing a square citizens' advisory committee on matters of urban planning. I saw little joy while working there, and felt much frustration at the groups unwillingness to create and maintain relationships that help people feel good about themselves and what they do. I nonetheless wish the group well in their very important tasks, as I go on to other things in life--including participating in the very busy holiday season at none other than Neiman Marcus department store, where I hope to see many local friends, in (of course!) the lingerie department (fourth floor).
I enjoyed producing the most successful and acclaimed fashion show in my business history, at the September 24 Janus fashion show. I learned to relax and survive the lovers' fight one hour before the show, and resulting loss of two models. I learned to appreciate more the hard work and dedication of my many model friends, give direction with less force, less authoritariasm, and hopefully, with more compassion and encouragement. I did push and shove a bit, but it all worked out swell, and we are considering presenting it again at Year 2000 Third Bi-Annual CURVES next year.
As the year and century draws to a close, I want to send to you and to your friends and family, our warmest wishes for safe passage and renewal of hope, as we continue our individual efforts to bring joy and pleasure to the world. HAPPY MILLENNIUM one and all! -- Ann Grogan
Millennium Corset Outfits: It's possible just to get a Millennium Corset made and delivered for the New Year's Eve but you have to act now, and certainly no later than December 8, or else you will pay a hefty rush fee. Contact us by email for a quick consultation.
|The elegant "Millennium Cincher"
by Sue Nice, in silver or cinnamon changeable taffeta
with coordinating partial lace overlay in front
($255; waists 32" plus $295;
row of front rhinestones, add $25)
Click pictures for larger view
New Lowered Prices Released: We're happy to announce our final new lowered web prices are available (call (415) 585-0760); or check them out soon on each corset maker's page. Most styles have been REDUCED from $10 to $65 each!
|ROMANTASY co-produces Sept. 24 Fashion Show for Society of Janus: We were gratified to get thanks from organizer Maryanne and Bob and Vicci Gold. Maryanne wrote: "Those who've spoken to me also like the energy an doutfits in the fashion show," and Bob responded: "Ann Grogan, who had a whole crew of volunteers including but not limited to the wonderful models, and Hank and Felicity were the ones that put the fashion show together and should get the credit for it. I proudly claim the credit for having the wisdom to invite their participation!" Thanks Maryanne, Bob and Vicci for that wisdom, as we really enjoyed the show ourselves!|
||New FREE postcard from ROMANTASY and Isabella: Please write us and request one to 10 copies of our newest color postcard shown above (photographer Jeanette Vonier/Elegant Images of San Rafael, CA) featuring Isabella in a velvet Edwardian corset and Chelesa in the Vamp corset, both wearing ribbon skirts. Isabella and family went for Halloween to New Orleans with Isabella wearing one of her smashing corseted gowns, and distributed literally hundreds of the new cards publicizing her great styles and ROMANTASY's corset website.
New Home Corset Party possible in Dallas, Texas: We were contacted by Linda, a customer from Dallas who made the supreme effort to meet me at the Dallas airport in early October, and place her order for a Miss Josie faux fur corset for her Christmas home party! Then we discussed the possibility of Linda hosting our Home Corset Party and seminar for several of her curious girlfriends and hubbies. We thought it was a grand idea and we hope we can visit during spring to communicate the ways corsets can enhance health, fashion, body image and the erotic life! We also hope other internet customers will write to request our package that explains how to host a Home Corset Party in your city!
As ever, we love your questions, comments and just plain occasional visits to see what's new.
Hugs and tight squeezes,
-ANN, ROBBY, and MARTINA (Corset Dream Makers)
Why Aren't Those Handmade Custom Corsets
|Over the period of nine years that I've supplied custom corsets for about 2000 customers, I have encountered quite a few customers who don't fully understand the concept of "custom". The typical American woman has no idea that custom means she can have about anything she wants!
"But this one is too short!" she will exclaim as she tries on a fit sample, or, "But I don't like the lace on that one...." Time and again I have to explain that custom means you get what you want! It's a novel concept for women only familiar with ready made wear, and it's part of the problem of understanding value: we just aren't familiar with the work and time it takes, plus the patience and skill, to pattern corsets individually to fit personal hills and valleys of the body.
Once customers receive their corset, some will question the results. Certain customers seem to expect perfection. I've had some customers take out their magnifying glass and complain about the tiniest of imperfections. This behavior brings to mind the question: just what is reasonable quality to expect in custom garments? We'd love to have your comments on this issue, and hope you'll read on and consider our perspective, as well.
Click Here to Continue
Third Corset Catalog in Preparation for Spring/Summer 2000 Release:
Model Acacia squeezes into BR Creations' Millennium Silver Leather Corset
View Acacia above, modeling BR's newest creation for midnight of this special New Year: silver leather with black leather piping up front boning casings, and tiny rhinestones. And Sue Nice created the perfect headdress a la Star Wars, while Sheri completed the outfit with her gauntlets and collar! Zowie! Order now or you'll miss being the STAR! Stay tuned to our site for more new images from four intense photo shoots with Jeanette Vonier of Elegant Images!
Why in the World Are Corsets so Expensive (con'td) ??????? "Boy I tell ya, from now on I won't talk out loud about easy things when the sisters of principal are listening. I'm referring to the Millennium Cincher--my newest unique pattern, of course. I swear it's taken me 2 days to figure that new style out and pattern it to perfection...now I get the fun part of actually producing the new style for your photographer and model!"
Speaking of course, is Miss Nice herself, putting her finger on the basic reason custom corsetry by individual craftspeople is "so pricey" from a corset maker's perspective: time and time and more time to pattern the perfect silhouette and insure fit, especially for unique new styles! (See article in June newsletter on this topic, discussing issues of durability, quality, fit and comfort as reasons for expense)
We thought we'd let two of our corset makers, Michael Garrod and Isabella Costumiere, also tell you the answer to this recurring, valid question from our new and curious potential customers, who are accustomed to paying about $50 to $100 for an off-the-peg teddy or bustier.
Click here for corset makers' answers
Isabella in Aphrodite Corset, tight-laced
Click for larger view
|The Tight Lacing Debate continues...
We were happy to receive the following comments from a reader in Sweden, following up our article in the last newsletter, on tight-lacing. While I appreciate the kudos, let me hasten to say that I can't admit to any great achievement vis a vis waist reduction and just barely qualify as a true "tight lacer" (am now just at 5" reduction for 6-8 hours).
"Greetings from Sweden! Regarding the question of (tight-lacing being) horrific or admirable?" I would by any means say admirable, and surely aesthetic! The photo of you with your red corset accompanying this topic in the latest newsletter is nothing but plain art. I love it! It's the essence of beauty in a female form and a lot more interesting sight to see than all those silicone pumped bimbos out there...Speaking of bimbos...Pam Anderson may be the first of those to find out that a small waist can do grater miracles with a woman's figure, compared to "big guns" as she has removed her silicone and appeared corseted on MTV Music Awards lately. Best regards from Sweden!" 10/16/99
Ann laced to 19" in the Butterfly Corset (with Linda in D. Jones Wasp Waist Victorian).
Click for larger view
Special Corset Customers and New Friends
In this day and age of hurry, hurry, demand, demand, I want it now attitude, me me me, it is refreshing to the max to meet and get to know very special people who make one feel encouraged in one's own endeavors. I had to laugh when a recent tv commercial started running almost incessantly for a new web business and site called "more.com". Isn't that typical? The bionic woman pictured on her treadmill, talking to her broker, etc. typifies the materialism we Americans, at least, are subjected to day in and day out: never satisfied, always wanting more, even on the web! As my Corset Dream Maker friend, Martina from Cologne, sometimes quips with a smile: "Bigger, better, faster, strong...more more more--.let's have it all!" I always laugh and calm down in my lust for material goodies when she says that!
Recently, I had the opportunity to really start to get to know a ROMANTASY customer, "Chablis," aka David Lassman, a San Francisco "personality" I suppose, being the producer of a bi-monthly cable tv show "City Beat with Chablis" (Channel 53 first and third Thursday nights, 9 PM, in San Francisco). Chablis has been kind enough over the past two years to support my business, and I her show, by appearing on it three times. I always have a wonderful chance to discuss my favorite topic, and do get calls and customers after the airing. I've always appreciated Chablis' support, and so, recently decided to gift David with a gorgeous black brocade and rhinestone Valentine corset by Isabella. You can see her in the corset SOON TO BE pictured here. David also modeled True Grace's sequined Lily that I designed, also shown here. This stunning burgundy satin and black lace corset is actually in our inventory and for sale, closing at 22" for $450. First come, first served: please call to order!
But David's generosity is unbelievable: he volunteered to model it recently for my next catalog photos, and Jeanette Vonier/Elegant Images in San Rafael, went to work with her camera magic to get some sterling shots! David prepared his own makeup and together we styled the outfits and shoot. I hope you enjoy the results! Plus, David attended my tea party recently and brought over a gorgeous orchid houseplant as a present! What a true generous spirit and kind heart! To boot, he gifted me with the most adorable hair cut I've ever had: I'm a fan, so if you want wig styling or a super hair cut, call him at the 77 Maiden Lane Salon for your appointment. And watch his show on alternate Thursday nights at 9 PM.
Curtis (L) and Chablis (R) looking happy at the Tea Party.
At the same time, one of my favorite people in the transgender community, Cheryl Sheppard, also volunteered to step in front of the camera and create a business look I have been wanted to portray, since so many people only envision wearing corsets in the bedroom or as opera fashion wear. Well, Cheryl actually took her small credit earned for modeling at the Janus fashion show ROMANTASY produced on September 24, plus a little deeper discount we offered for the already well-priced Sheri's Sincher that you will see her modeling in our next catalog. Cheryl is truly a special person, always so empathetic and personally encouraging to me and I'm sure, to her many friends. She helped me construct a do-it-yourself desk chair and busied herself helping me prepare for the tea party the night before, plus contributed a beautiful bouquet of flowers for the occasion.
Cheryl is now busy preparing the judge's panel for the upcoming Cotillion, Saturday the 29th of January, and Chablis may be a judge! Look for Robby and I to be there perhaps in the front row as a patron of one of two favorite events of the year! (The other is the Coronation of Emperor and Empress of San Francisco, which we hope may be Chablis in 2001--wearing a ROMANTASY outfit we also hope!) We'll post more info for you on our calendar web page soon.
WE GET LETTERS... AND KUDOS! Click Here
AND IN CONCLUSION...
With my mom and kitty, Tata, I'll watch the Old Year pass away and hope for all of us, much peace and happiness for the coming years!
-Ann Grogan with Robby Cannedy and Martina Ostermann
Click pictures for larger view
View previous editions of the newsletter.