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Brute Force Corsetry

Brute Force Corsetry

If you go to festivals and are into corsets chances are Thomas has clasped your waist at least once while pulling on the laces of one of his exquisite designs. A fixed feature at festivals such as Whitby Gothic Weekend, Wave Gotik Treffen and the Elf Fantasy Fair, he lures ladies with fine fabrics and boning wrapped up in his renowned American charm. Although his company, which he has been running with his ex-wife for over 12 years, is actually based in the States, he spends so much time in the UK and Europe that his wares have been well peddled over here too. Along with the corsetry he also designs and makes the most fabulous and unusual fantasy costumes and stocks a range of T-shits with witty (and often tasteless – which he attests to himself!) sayings on them. All of which were thought up by him and his “minions” (his three full time seamstresses and two full time helpers). And knowing Thomas, I completely believe this: “My Favourite is ‘I bet I can fit your baby’s head in my mouth’”, says it all really ;) Although his company is now forging the way in Steampunk fashion, his corsets will always be his inventory staple and his fantasy outfits deluxe desires.

What was it that made you start up in this business?
Thomas: A severe dousing of Fantasy and Sci/Fi as a child and a sincere desire to do as little actual work as humanly possible.

What influences you in your designs, choice of fabric?
T: Everything! books, movies, commercials, but one of my favourite influences for the leather work is to walk down the “Action Figure” aisles at toy stores. They have great ideas even if most of them appear to be held together by nothing more then an over active imagination.

Describe the construction of your corsets and why you feel they are perhaps better than others on the market.
T: Each is constructed with 4 layers of fabric. That’s 40 separate pieces per corset. We have found a source for the best boning and busks available. (bit of a trade secret that..) They have a very sturdy feel to them which gives them excellent shaping ability and comfortable wear. I know this from experience. I do have 3 of my own. :)

What’s the strangest/most unusual outfit you have been commissioned to make?
T: OMFG!!! This gentleman wanted a special hard leather outfit for his 23 year old daughter. He listed the elements he wanted incorporated..
“She is really into Elvin things”
“And Dragons, she loves her dragons…”
“And Celtic knot work…”
“um… ok…I think I can work with this..”
“Oh, and her favourite thing of all… Klingon”
“I’m sorry?”
“You know, Klingons.. from StarTrek?”
“So, you want 2 outfits?”
“no, Just the one.”
“And she would really like it for Dragon*Con..”
“Sir, that is only a week and a half from now and this event (Pennsic) still has 3 days to go…”
“So you saying you CAN’T do it?”
“Not at all” … I’m starting to sweat about then, I do some quick calculations then add close to 1000 pounds as a deterrent to me actually doing this horrid project….
“But it would cost you about 2000 pounds”
I grossly miscalculated his reaction.
He whips out a Visa Platnum and says, “let’s do it then.”
and yes, a week and a half later, his daughter was wearing it about at the convention with people telling her how wonderful it was, and me trying to dodge the blame for it’s existence.

What is/are you most popular designs/styles?
T: In fabric corsetry, it would have to be own Classic Victorian (Item #100) in Silver and Black Brocade. In hard leather Our Treasure Map Corset (item #5000) is the ruling monarch. Pirates are quite “in” this year…

Do you do custom orders or are all your corsets stockpiled?
T: Both… we generally have about one to two hundred corsets hanging about for off the peg sales, but we gladly accept bespoke orders, usually at no extra charge.

Having owned a number of his fabric corsets and one of his leather corsets for a number of years now, I can attest to the quality, durability and comfortable design and believe that they are a must-have addition to any corset wearers’ closet.


Published in Alt Fashion