Origin: United Kingdom, Australia, USA
Fabric: Silk cotton blend duchesse satin, silk charmeuse, French leavers lace
Brands: Sparklewren, Vanyanís, Pop Antique
This wedding gown for designer Karolina Laskowska was created as a collaboration between some of the bride’s favourite designers and friends, Marianne Faulkner of Pop Antique, Lowana O’Shea of Vanyanís, and Jenni Hampshire of Sparklewren. It was worn for the ceremony in September 2019, with the design and construction process beginning in 2018.
The corset pattern was drafted by Pop Antique, and is based on a bespoke version of the label’s signature ‘Madame X‘ style corset. Distance fittings took place over video between Oslo, Norway and San Francisco, USA. The coordinating skirt was created entirely by Pop Antique in San Francisco. It is made from a single layer of silk charmeuse, with the draped silhouette inspired by an extant c. 1910s eveningwear ensemble. A detachable train of French lace has a carefully hand clipped hem to follow the intricate patterns, with the same lace style used to embellish the coordinating corset.
The corset base was stitched in Melbourne, Australia, by Vanyanís. Following a second distance fitting via video, the final corset took in excess of 80 hours to stitch. It is constructed from an outer fabric of silk-cotton satin, with a cotton coutil lining and structured with 70 synthetic baleen and flat steel bones. The busk closure is laser engraved with laurel motifs. The garment features extensive hand finishing, with no visible machine backstitches, hand finished busk loop openings, and hand stitched binding.
The corset was finally embellished in Birmingham, UK, by Sparklewren. Three varieties of French leavers lace are hand stitched in layered appliqué. The star motifs are a mix of antique goldwork appliqués, and newly stitched rose gold toned contemporary goldwork. The corset is finished with draped rose gold chains, and a scattering of cut goldwork wire beading.
Marianne Faulkner is highly regarded in the modern corset community as both a designer and corset educator. Holding both a BFA and MFA in Fashion Design, Faulkner designs under the brand ‘Pop Antique’. Her creations combine comfort, function, whimsy and sustainability. She is the associate creative director at renowned corsetry house ‘Dark Garden’. Alongside her design, Faulkner actively engages in corset education through her website ‘The Daily Waist’, and spoke at the Oxford Conference of Corsetry in 2013, 2014 and 2017.
Vanyanís is a luxury clothing label based in Healesville, Australia, offering both ready-to-wear clothing, and made-to-measure couture. Corsetry is a specialty of the label, with an attention to detail and craftsmanship that is rare in the modern fashion industry. Designer Lowana O’Shea offers corsetry classes and is a mentor on Foundations Revealed, an online resource and community dedicated to foundationwear making and design.
Jenni Hampshire began creating corsets under the moniker ‘Sparklewren’ in 2009. The designer’s background in Fine Art has resulted in a body of work akin to wearable sculpture. Historically inspired silhouettes and construction techniques are paired with lush, opulent embellishment and couture construction techniques. The brand specialised in one-of-a-kind heirloom garments, with each garment taking weeks of carefully considered embellishment and craftsmanship.
From the collection of Karolina Laskowska