Monday, March 2, 2015

A Fascinator to Remember: Bridal Mixer & Trunk Show March 15

Brides unite! Come join Dark Garden in San Francisco for a lovely afternoon trunk show and bridal mixer with Kalico Delafay and Pop Antique on Sunday, March 15th. From 1pm to 5pm, Kalico Delafay and Marianne Faulkner of Pop Antique (that's me!) will be in our 321 Linden St. boutique with a selection of alternative bridal headwear.

Dark Garden proprietress Autumn Adamme
in a Dollymop for Dark Garden "Lancer" bridal ensemble
and boater by associate designer and milliner Kalico Delafay.
Photo © John Carey
Our boutique is nestled in lovely Hayes Valley; why not make a day of it? Bring your mom, Maid of Honor, or Best Person. First, grab brunch at one of our favorite neighborhood spots, like Absinthe or Chez Maman. Then swing by our boutique at 321 Linden St. for a top-up on bubbly punch and some mingling with other brides. (Nobody likes talking about weddings as much as another bride!) Browse a curated selection of gorgeous handmade headpieces and talk to the designers about having a piece custom-made. On your way out, have a taste of Smitten's fresh-made ice cream, scope out the vintage dresses at Ver Unica, and perch in Patricia's Green with your notebook as you continue your wedding planning.

One of a kind hat by Kalico Delafay
Bridal ensemble by Kalico Delafay featuring a
Dollymop for Dark Garden "Amelia" corset
Model: Dwoira Galilea - Photo © Joel Aron
Kalico Delafay is our in-house associate designer of the Dollymop corset line, and she's designed several exquisite bridal ensembles for us over the year. However, her true passion lies in millinery. All of her creations are one-of-a-kind. Kalico's sculpted felt creations utilize exquisitely upcycled vintage felt, veiling, and buttons, and she also does stunning lace and horsehair fascinators, straw boaters, and gloriously regal crowns made of stiffened lace and glimmering Swarovski crystals. Personally, of the several Kalico Delafay hats I own, my favorite is the one she custom-made just for me. I highly encourage you to commission a bespoke piece from Kalico - you will be absolutely thrilled with the result.

Pop Antique "Classic Fascinator"
with flocked polka dots & silk bow
Model: Victoria Dagger - Photo © Max Johnson
My line, Pop Antique, has a more minimalist approach. My "future vintage" style nods to the classic mid-century aesthetic without replicating it. I love simple, classic shapes, executed with great attention to proportion and finishing details. I never use glue to assemble my horsehair fascinators and all my buckram and sinamay pieces are individually hand-blocked. I especially love to make things my clients can envision fitting in their life for more than just a special occasion - a gorgeous hat collection deserves to see the world, not just sit in a stunning vintage hat box! My wedding is also coming up this October so I'd love to hear all the foibles and triumphs from your own wedding planning.

Dark Garden Princess Victorian bespoke corset
Photo © Perry Gallagher
Of course, if what you're after is a traditional veil, Dark Garden's in-house bridal atelier can make veils of any length, trimmed in simple satin ribbon or luxurious lace. While you're with us, you can get fitted in one of our fabulous ready-to-wear corsets and book an appointment to have a bespoke bridal ensemble designed just for you. Not sure you're ready to book a full appointment? Proprietress and lead designer Autumn Adamme will be available for on-the-fly mini consults, as, of course, will Kalico.

We can't wait to see you on Sunday, March 15 for our bridal mixer! If you've been struggling with your choice of veil or headwear, we're sure to have something special that will please you.

Bespoke Kalico Delafay sculpted felt hat.
Photo © Alyxander Ryan
-Marianne
Multi-Purpose Corsetiere
Read More

Monday, February 2, 2015

Edwardian Ball Styling Party with ReVamp Vintage

Annamarie von Firley, proprietress of reVamp Vintage
Dark Garden is partnering twice this month with our old friend in Los Angeles, reVamp Vintage. First, we have the Vintage Fashion Expo on Feburary 7th & 8th. Then, we'll be visiting the reVamp showroom on Friday, February 13, to bring you a curated selection of corsets, jewelry and hats to help you polish off your Edwardian Ball Ensemble. And not a moment too soon - the Edwardian Ball Los Angeles is the very next night, February 14!

Edwardian Ball Styling Party
A Trunk Show at reVamp Vintage
Friday, February 13, 2015, 6pm-9pm
818 S. Broadway St., Suite 801
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Associate designer Kalico Delafay in a Dollymop Cavalry,
proprietress Autumn Adamme in a Risqué Cincher,
and production manager Kristin Argue in a Dollymop Lancer.
Photo © Joel Aron
Dark Garden proprietress Autumn Adamme and our associate designer Kalico Delafay will both be there. Autumn of course is the visionary and world-renowned corset fit expert responsible for our Signature Collection and bespoke corsets. Kalico Delafay is responsible for our popular Dollymop line of corsets and has designed many of the most memorable ensembles from our fashion shows over the past five years.

Dollymop Couture & Kalico Delafay Millinery
at the Edwardian Ball San Francisco 2015
Photo © John Carey
A Dark Garden corset is the perfect complement to formal and vintage dresses, creating a natural-looking hourglass figure, instantly improving your posture, and refining the line and hang of any garment its worn beneath. Of course, our creations are so beautifully crafted and designed that they are often styled as the centerpiece to an ensemble!



Kalico Delafay's true specialty lies in her gorgeous sculpted felt millinery. Each of Kalico's hats is a unique design, never to be created again. (I myself am the proud owner of four of her blocked hats as well as several fascinators.) Part of the unique nature of a Kalico Delafay creation comes from her materials choices: Kalico repurposes and upcycles vintage fur-felt, veiling, and buttons, mixing them with gorgeous textural plumage.

Fascinators, lace crowns, and blocked hats by Kalico Delafay Millinery.
You can RSVP to the event on Facebook. Of course, if you're not going to be in LA, we'll be fitting fine corsets at 321 Linden St., San Francisco, 6 days a week. We also have a selection of millinery and accessories from Kalico and other independent designers on display in the boutique.

Kalico Delafay Millinery
Photo © Joel Aron

-Marianne
Multi-Purpose Corsetiere
Read More

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Cinch-ening: Dark Garden Returns to Jenette Bras in L.A.

Dark Garden "Risqué Cincher"
Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Joel Aron
We are so pleased to make our trunk show with Jenette Bras an annual event. Jenette is a fabulous host with a fantastic boutique (did I mention there will be cocktails? There are cocktails involved!), and we'll be making our triumphant return to her Melrose location on Sunday, February 8. (Yes, we'll be dashing over straight from the Vintage Fashion Expo.) You can catch us at Jenette's from 6-9pm.

Dark Garden 3: The Cinch-EningA Trunk Show at Jenette Bras
Sunday, February 8, 2015, 6pm-9pm
East Hollywood
4308 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
323-665-7490

Dark Garden proprietress Autumn Adamme
in the "Risqué Sweetheart"
Photo © Joel Aron
This year, not only will Jenette's brilliant staff be there (fitting bras and corsets), but Dark Garden proprietress Autumn Adamme will be leading our team. Dark Garden is bringing an assortment of Cinchers and Corselettes as well as full-bust friendly overbust corsets like our Valentine and examples of our bespoke work. Jenette Bras is a full-bust specialist where 'the alphabet begins at D,' but fret not, this is event is open to all cup sizes.

Dark Garden "Grable"
Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Mask Photo
Waist training has been quickly gaining momentum since last year. If you're in LA you may have been eyeing some of its celebrity proponents firsthand but still have a lot of questions. Autumn and I are both happy to talk you through waist training with an authentic and shapely steel-boned corset. We'll answer your questions like, "What style do I start with?" and "Is it safe?" (It totally is, at least when you use a high-quality and properly fitted corset.)

Dark Garden "Sweetheart"
Model: Dwoira Galilea | Photo © Joel Aron
We'll be in Los Angeles quite a bit in February, so if we don't see you at the Vintage Fashion Expo or Jenette's, we hope you'll visit us at our Edwardian Ball Styling Party with ReVamp on February 13, or watch our fashion show at the Los Angeles Edwardian Ball.

Dollymop for Dark Garden
Couture corset ensemble
Photo © John Carey
Cheers!
Marianne
Multi-Purpose Corsetiere
Read More

Friday, January 30, 2015

Red-Hot Valentine's Day Shopping Guide

Dita Von Teese "Mancatcher" lingerie set
Available at Dark Garden in San Francisco
Valentine's Day is nearly upon us! Whether you've got a hot date or are pampering yourself, we've got a list of lovelies that will keep you feeling hot despite the lingering chill in the air.


Dark Garden "Cincher" in red silk satin
and Pop Antique Hex Crown Pillbox in red sinamay.
Available at Dark Garden in San Francisco.
via @DarkGardenCorsetry on Instagram.
Accessories & Treats

Apothekerri: Fizzy Melts, "Love Spell," $6 - Get snug in the tub with luxuriously scented fizzy melts. These effervescent bath bombs are super moisturizing and smell ah-mazing.

Pop Antique: Hex Crown Pillbox, $110 - Why not pair your Risqué corset with a sinamay mesh pillbox hat? Pop Antique's pillbox hats are all hand-blocked and hand-finished with millinery wire and lovely petersham ribbon. The back of the hat band has a slot for modular pairing with Pop Antique's super-versatile Bow Clip Fascinator ($32-$35).

Kalico Delafay: Horsehair & Lace Fascinators, $112.50+ - Dark Garden's associate designer Kalico Delafay designs our incredibly popular Dollymop line of corsets, but her millinery skills are even more impressive. Her horsehair and lace creations, trimmed with vintage feathers and buttons, are wonderful cocktail hats for a picnic or a night at the opera. Normally retailing for $225-$250, the fascinators are currently 50% off.


Dita Von Teese "Her Sexcellency" lingerie set
Available at Dark Garden in San Francisco
Lingerie

Evgenia: Handmade red silk panties, $65 - Formerly Honey Cooler Handmade, local designer Stephanie Bodnar has rebranded her locally made line as Evegnia. Dark Garden still has a handful of unique one-off silk panties and camisoles featuring her expert and elegant insertion lace technique.

Dita Von Teese: Mancatcher Set, $40+$55 - Mancatcher it may be named, but I can say from experience that this style works just as well on the ladies! This set is an instant classic in red satin and black lace, with diagonal seams accenting a sheer lace cup.

Dita Von Teese "Her Sexcellency" lingerie setand Dark Garden "Risqué Cincher" in red silk/black mesh.
Available at Dark Garden in San Francisco
Model: Euphrates X. Photo © Joel Aron
Dita Von Teese: Her Sexcellency Set, $40-$70 - This stand-out set has both a push-up and a longline overwire bra option in glossy satin. Bottom's up with matching panties and suspenders - why not pair those with our new-old stock vintage stockings? It's a guaranteed stunner no matter how you style it.

Dita Von Teese: Parisienne Half Slip, $200 - Polka dots are so on point these days, and you're sure to charm in this darling half slip with bow and godet detailing. If you're feeling playful, try layering it over a sexy sheath dress for a floaty lingerie-as-outwear look.

Dita Von Teese "Parisienne" half-slipand Dark Garden "Alexandra" in black poplin and leather.
Available at Dark Garden in San Francisco
Model: Euphrates X. Photo © Joel Aron

Dark Garden Corsets

Monthly Special Fabrics, $200 off - Each month, we offer a discount on a select few custom fabrics from our couture loft. This month, we've got a luscious palette of red and black: a cheery red poplin, black filigree silk brocade, and super luxe red patent leather. You can read more about each of these fabrics here.

Dark Garden "Cincher" in red silk satin.
Model: Victoria Dagger. Photo © Joel Aron.
Cincher in Red Silk Satin, $475 - Gorgeous red silk makes a perfect corset for daywear, foundations, or even waist training. Our Cincher is fit from an average of thousands of bespoke corsets, making for an incredibly comfortable and curvaceous cinching experience. All corsets are handmade on-site in our San Francisco boutique, guaranteeing the highest level of quality. If well cared for, a Dark Garden corset is an investment that can last years or even decades.

Dark Garden "Risqué Sweetheart" in red silk/black mesh.
Model: Dwoira Galilea. Photo © Joel Aron
Sweetheart Risqué in Red Silk with Black Mesh, $555 - Of course, if you want to take it to the next level, you could pair that luminous red silk with super sexy sheer mesh. Our corsetry mesh is both strong and breathable, and the Risqué line comes standard with a modesty panel and detachable garters.


Dita Von Teese "Savoir Faire" Lingerie Setand Dark Garden "Cincher" in black brocade
Available at Dark Garden in San Francisco
Model: Euphrates X. Photo © Joel Aron
If you're looking to buy a special gift or a sexy treat for yourself, Dark Garden is happy to help you in finding just the thing. We also have gift cards available if you're uncertain of size or color preference. Come by and visit us at 321 Linden St, Thursday through Tuesday for a corset fitting or gift consultation. We open at 11am every day, except for Wednesdays when we are open only by appointment. Give us a ring at 415-431-7684 for over-the-phone inquiries.

Dark Garden "Dollymop Overbust"
Photo © Joel Aron
-Marianne
Multi-Purpose Corsetiere
Read More

Friday, January 23, 2015

Fabulous Foundations at LA's Vintage Fashion Expo!

Dark Garden "Corselette"
Model: Dark Garden proprietress Autumn Adamme
Photo © Joel Aron
Dark Garden is so excited to return to the Los Angeles Vintage Fashion Expo on February 7th & 8th, where we will once again share a booth with ReVamp. You can see us there and get professionally fitted for a ready-to-wear or bespoke corset at The Reef, 1933 Broadway St., Los Angeles. Tickets are $12-$30, or only $5 with a valid student ID on Sunday. The Vintage Fashion Expo hosts an array of vendors with gorgeous original vintage clothing and accessories, but, in the words of Christian Dior:
"Without proper foundations, there can be no fashion."
What foundations? Foundation garments - corsets, of course! Most vintage pieces were cut to be worn with at least a girdle or merry widow, so their waists tend to be too small with a different hang and posture if worn without shapewear. A Dark Garden corset makes a wonderful foundation for vintage dresses and gowns, yet is cut to suit modern bodies with unparalleled all-day support and comfort. Our standard fit line is based on an average of thousands of our handmade bespoke corsets, and doesn't pinch or roll like stretch shapewear.

Dark Garden "Risqué Cincher"
Model: Khadijah. Photo © Joel Aron
We'll be bringing a selection of our Basics in simple and sturdy black poplin as well as our Risqué line. The Risqué's single-layer mesh construction with luscious silk-satin accents makes it a lightweight, comfortable, and oh-so-sexy base for any ensemble, and comes standard with detachable garters... perfect for snag-free support of your vintage nylon stockings!

Dark Garden "Risqué Cincher"
Model: Euphrates X. Photo © Joel Aron

Our partner ReVamp specializes in exacting period reproductions from 1910-1957 with all the vintage style and none of the vintage DNA. ReVamp was originally founded as the brainchild of current owner Annamarie von Firley and Dark Garden proprietress Autumn Adamme. Though our two companies are now separate entities we have always maintained a close relationship with Annamarie von Firley. Indeed, Autumn is often seen working at Dark Garden in her ReVamp "Maisie" sailor slacks.

Left: Annamarie von Firley of ReVamp
Right: Dark Garden's Autumn Adamme
The Vintage Fashion Expo is the first of many events in Los Angeles we are doing next month. We'll also be doing a trunk show at Jenette Bras on February 8th, another trunk show hosted by ReVamp on February 13th, and of course, the Edwardian Ball on February 14th!

Dark Garden "Corselette"
Photo © Joel Aron
-Marianne
Multi-Purpose Corsetiere
Read More

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Fabric Specials for Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and we have some red-hot fabric specials for you! These fabrics are available on any made-to-order corset for a limited time only. We are waiving the custom fabric fee (a $200 savings) on the following sultry styles through the end of February.

Dark Garden's fabric specials for Valentine's Day:
Black filigree brocade, red patent leather, and red poplin.
Red Poplin: Available in either basic or Signature construction, our poplin is a wonderfully hard-wearing fabric. Signature Collection corsets come complete with loops for detachable garters (garters sold separately) and a back panel to sit behind your back lacing. This brilliant scarlet hue is usually only available behind our sumptuous lace overlay, but for the next month you can have it as a sturdy (and economical) alternative to our luscious, luminous Signature red silk-satin.

Black filigree brocade in a finely woven silk/rayon blend.
Black Filigree Brocade: Make no mistake, a Dark Garden brocade is not like the loosely-woven polyester fabrics you'll find at your local fabric store. This gorgeous and subtle brocade features a tightly-woven black-on-black filigree motif. This silk/rayon blend is suitable for either an occasional night out or consistent wear for waist training. Did you know that all Dark Garden brocades are carefully matched at the center front and center back to create an uninterrupted repeating pattern?

Dark Garden "Sweetheart" corset in red poplin.
Red Patent Leather: For the ultimate, super-shiny, luxe experience, you just can't top a patent leather corset! We go to great lengths to source leather with the right qualities for corsetry. Our patent leather molds around the body but doesn't crack like vinyl. This means your corset will have a longer life, lasting years with proper care. The red patent leather is not just a standalone statement piece: it makes a stunningly versatile foundation for cosplay and is a guaranteed head-turner at the Folsom St. Fair.

Dark Garden "Sweetheart" corset in red patent.
Model: Anneka | Photo © Marianne Faulkner
These fabrics are available only in-store or over the phone - pop into 321 Linden St., San Francisco for an expert fitting and handle these limited edition options for yourself, or call us at 415-431-7684. This is the perfect time to place an order for Valentine's Day in these special fabrics or our classic Signature Collection, such as the Risqué Collection: a perennial favorite for boudoir or foundation wear.

Dark Garden Risqué Sweetheart in red silk and black mesh.
Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Joel Aron.
Dark Garden "Cincher"
in red silk satin.
© Joel Aron

Corset squeezes,
Marianne
Multi-Purposes Corsetiere
Read More

Last Call for the Edwardian Ball!

Did your true love completely fail to deliver on the ladies dancing and lords a-leaping for Christmas? Don't worry, the Edwardian Ball has you covered! This annual event is inspired by the whimsically macabre works of Edward Gorey and showcases a broad array of entertainments, vendors, and costumed attendees.

The 15th Annual Edwardian Ball: Edward Gorey's "The Beastly Baby"
Yes, the Edwardian Ball is nearly upon us: Next Friday and Saturday, January 16th & 17th, prepare for a marvelous and oh-so-stylish spectacle at the Regency Ballroom. Thank you to all who turned out for our What to Wear to the Edwardian Ball styling party. If you're still on the fence about whether to go to the ball, which night to attend, or whether to spring for VIP tickets, we've got those answers right here for you.

Style inspiration: model Nicole Simone in carnival-inspired finery. Photo © Aaron Fagerstrom
Friday at the Edwardian Ball is the "World's Faire" and is hosted by MC Kingfish of Hubba Hubba Revue fame. This first night of the ball has a slightly more casual vibe - as much as any ball could ever be considered "casual," that is! Daywear-inspired styling is more acceptable for Friday night... perhaps a fun circus outfit will get you in the mood for a pedal-powered carousel by Cyclecide and carnival games from The Barbary Coast Midway! Prepare to dance to DJs Shakti Bliss and Fact.50 as well as musical performances by Diego's Umbrella, The Speakeasy Syndicate and Eric McFadden.

Dark Garden fashion show at the Edwardian Ball, featuring two Dollymop corsets and a bespoke Aziza.
Saturday is the Edwardian Ball proper, in all its Edward Gorey glory! Dress to the nines for an evening of ballroom dance and performances. With MC Armitage Shanks, the main stage will brim with entertainments all night long. Rosin Coven, the world's premier pagan lounge ensemble, are both the hosts of the ball and the house band. As ever, we will debut a stunning new collection of corseted ensembles during our fashion show spectacular, this year in collaboration with Edwardian Ball headliners, the Vau de Vire Society. At the end of the night, the Vau de Vire Society will also stage a second show: a production of Edward Gorey's "The Beastly Baby." These circus virtuosos are not to be missed, and we could not be more thrilled to partner with them for our Saturday fashion show!

The Vau de Vire Society at the Edwardian Ball, headlining Saturday night's entertainments.
On both nights, you can look forward to spectacular life size Edward Gorey cutouts, the antics of Fou Fou Ha!, and the swirling skirts of Le Cancan Bijou. Upstairs in the opulent red Lodge, we'll be displaying more fashionable Dark Garden delights on living statues and sensual shadow screens. There's a full bar and a hot food menu, and even an Absinthe Bar featuring Treasure Island's Raff Distillerie (who also just so happens to make my favorite gin). That's just a sampling of course... the amusements are nearly too numerous to list (but are, in fact, listed on the Edwardian Ball website.)

Le Cancan Bijou at the Edwardian Ball
The Edwardian Ball will also be coming to Los Angeles on Saturday, February 14. How's that for a very memorable Valentine's Day or a fabulous night of solo fun with friends (or your personal harem)!

VIP lounge at the Edwardian Ball
Dark Garden still has available tickets for the San Francisco Edwardian Ball and World's Faire. Ticket sales are cash only in our boutique at 321 Linden St., San Francisco. General Admission tickets are $50 (Friday) or $57 (Saturday), covering an evening of dancing and entertainments as well as a beautifully eclectic vendor's bazaar. VIP tickets are $97-$102 and also include access to an exclusive VIP lounge with plenty of seating with a spectacular view of the main stage. All prices include a small handling fee.

© Clarence Alford

We can't wait to see you there!

-Marianne
Multi-Purpose Corsetiere
Read More

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Fascinator to Remember: Bridal Mixer & Trunk Show March 15

Brides unite! Come join Dark Garden in San Francisco for a lovely afternoon trunk show and bridal mixer with Kalico Delafay and Pop Antique on Sunday, March 15th. From 1pm to 5pm, Kalico Delafay and Marianne Faulkner of Pop Antique (that's me!) will be in our 321 Linden St. boutique with a selection of alternative bridal headwear.

Dark Garden proprietress Autumn Adamme
in a Dollymop for Dark Garden "Lancer" bridal ensemble
and boater by associate designer and milliner Kalico Delafay.
Photo © John Carey
Our boutique is nestled in lovely Hayes Valley; why not make a day of it? Bring your mom, Maid of Honor, or Best Person. First, grab brunch at one of our favorite neighborhood spots, like Absinthe or Chez Maman. Then swing by our boutique at 321 Linden St. for a top-up on bubbly punch and some mingling with other brides. (Nobody likes talking about weddings as much as another bride!) Browse a curated selection of gorgeous handmade headpieces and talk to the designers about having a piece custom-made. On your way out, have a taste of Smitten's fresh-made ice cream, scope out the vintage dresses at Ver Unica, and perch in Patricia's Green with your notebook as you continue your wedding planning.

One of a kind hat by Kalico Delafay
Bridal ensemble by Kalico Delafay featuring a
Dollymop for Dark Garden "Amelia" corset
Model: Dwoira Galilea - Photo © Joel Aron
Kalico Delafay is our in-house associate designer of the Dollymop corset line, and she's designed several exquisite bridal ensembles for us over the year. However, her true passion lies in millinery. All of her creations are one-of-a-kind. Kalico's sculpted felt creations utilize exquisitely upcycled vintage felt, veiling, and buttons, and she also does stunning lace and horsehair fascinators, straw boaters, and gloriously regal crowns made of stiffened lace and glimmering Swarovski crystals. Personally, of the several Kalico Delafay hats I own, my favorite is the one she custom-made just for me. I highly encourage you to commission a bespoke piece from Kalico - you will be absolutely thrilled with the result.

Pop Antique "Classic Fascinator"
with flocked polka dots & silk bow
Model: Victoria Dagger - Photo © Max Johnson
My line, Pop Antique, has a more minimalist approach. My "future vintage" style nods to the classic mid-century aesthetic without replicating it. I love simple, classic shapes, executed with great attention to proportion and finishing details. I never use glue to assemble my horsehair fascinators and all my buckram and sinamay pieces are individually hand-blocked. I especially love to make things my clients can envision fitting in their life for more than just a special occasion - a gorgeous hat collection deserves to see the world, not just sit in a stunning vintage hat box! My wedding is also coming up this October so I'd love to hear all the foibles and triumphs from your own wedding planning.

Dark Garden Princess Victorian bespoke corset
Photo © Perry Gallagher
Of course, if what you're after is a traditional veil, Dark Garden's in-house bridal atelier can make veils of any length, trimmed in simple satin ribbon or luxurious lace. While you're with us, you can get fitted in one of our fabulous ready-to-wear corsets and book an appointment to have a bespoke bridal ensemble designed just for you. Not sure you're ready to book a full appointment? Proprietress and lead designer Autumn Adamme will be available for on-the-fly mini consults, as, of course, will Kalico.

We can't wait to see you on Sunday, March 15 for our bridal mixer! If you've been struggling with your choice of veil or headwear, we're sure to have something special that will please you.

Bespoke Kalico Delafay sculpted felt hat.
Photo © Alyxander Ryan
-Marianne
Multi-Purpose Corsetiere

Monday, February 2, 2015

Edwardian Ball Styling Party with ReVamp Vintage

Annamarie von Firley, proprietress of reVamp Vintage
Dark Garden is partnering twice this month with our old friend in Los Angeles, reVamp Vintage. First, we have the Vintage Fashion Expo on Feburary 7th & 8th. Then, we'll be visiting the reVamp showroom on Friday, February 13, to bring you a curated selection of corsets, jewelry and hats to help you polish off your Edwardian Ball Ensemble. And not a moment too soon - the Edwardian Ball Los Angeles is the very next night, February 14!

Edwardian Ball Styling Party
A Trunk Show at reVamp Vintage
Friday, February 13, 2015, 6pm-9pm
818 S. Broadway St., Suite 801
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Associate designer Kalico Delafay in a Dollymop Cavalry,
proprietress Autumn Adamme in a Risqué Cincher,
and production manager Kristin Argue in a Dollymop Lancer.
Photo © Joel Aron
Dark Garden proprietress Autumn Adamme and our associate designer Kalico Delafay will both be there. Autumn of course is the visionary and world-renowned corset fit expert responsible for our Signature Collection and bespoke corsets. Kalico Delafay is responsible for our popular Dollymop line of corsets and has designed many of the most memorable ensembles from our fashion shows over the past five years.

Dollymop Couture & Kalico Delafay Millinery
at the Edwardian Ball San Francisco 2015
Photo © John Carey
A Dark Garden corset is the perfect complement to formal and vintage dresses, creating a natural-looking hourglass figure, instantly improving your posture, and refining the line and hang of any garment its worn beneath. Of course, our creations are so beautifully crafted and designed that they are often styled as the centerpiece to an ensemble!



Kalico Delafay's true specialty lies in her gorgeous sculpted felt millinery. Each of Kalico's hats is a unique design, never to be created again. (I myself am the proud owner of four of her blocked hats as well as several fascinators.) Part of the unique nature of a Kalico Delafay creation comes from her materials choices: Kalico repurposes and upcycles vintage fur-felt, veiling, and buttons, mixing them with gorgeous textural plumage.

Fascinators, lace crowns, and blocked hats by Kalico Delafay Millinery.
You can RSVP to the event on Facebook. Of course, if you're not going to be in LA, we'll be fitting fine corsets at 321 Linden St., San Francisco, 6 days a week. We also have a selection of millinery and accessories from Kalico and other independent designers on display in the boutique.

Kalico Delafay Millinery
Photo © Joel Aron

-Marianne
Multi-Purpose Corsetiere

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Cinch-ening: Dark Garden Returns to Jenette Bras in L.A.

Dark Garden "Risqué Cincher"
Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Joel Aron
We are so pleased to make our trunk show with Jenette Bras an annual event. Jenette is a fabulous host with a fantastic boutique (did I mention there will be cocktails? There are cocktails involved!), and we'll be making our triumphant return to her Melrose location on Sunday, February 8. (Yes, we'll be dashing over straight from the Vintage Fashion Expo.) You can catch us at Jenette's from 6-9pm.

Dark Garden 3: The Cinch-EningA Trunk Show at Jenette Bras
Sunday, February 8, 2015, 6pm-9pm
East Hollywood
4308 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
323-665-7490

Dark Garden proprietress Autumn Adamme
in the "Risqué Sweetheart"
Photo © Joel Aron
This year, not only will Jenette's brilliant staff be there (fitting bras and corsets), but Dark Garden proprietress Autumn Adamme will be leading our team. Dark Garden is bringing an assortment of Cinchers and Corselettes as well as full-bust friendly overbust corsets like our Valentine and examples of our bespoke work. Jenette Bras is a full-bust specialist where 'the alphabet begins at D,' but fret not, this is event is open to all cup sizes.

Dark Garden "Grable"
Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Mask Photo
Waist training has been quickly gaining momentum since last year. If you're in LA you may have been eyeing some of its celebrity proponents firsthand but still have a lot of questions. Autumn and I are both happy to talk you through waist training with an authentic and shapely steel-boned corset. We'll answer your questions like, "What style do I start with?" and "Is it safe?" (It totally is, at least when you use a high-quality and properly fitted corset.)

Dark Garden "Sweetheart"
Model: Dwoira Galilea | Photo © Joel Aron
We'll be in Los Angeles quite a bit in February, so if we don't see you at the Vintage Fashion Expo or Jenette's, we hope you'll visit us at our Edwardian Ball Styling Party with ReVamp on February 13, or watch our fashion show at the Los Angeles Edwardian Ball.

Dollymop for Dark Garden
Couture corset ensemble
Photo © John Carey
Cheers!
Marianne
Multi-Purpose Corsetiere

Friday, January 30, 2015

Red-Hot Valentine's Day Shopping Guide

Dita Von Teese "Mancatcher" lingerie set
Available at Dark Garden in San Francisco
Valentine's Day is nearly upon us! Whether you've got a hot date or are pampering yourself, we've got a list of lovelies that will keep you feeling hot despite the lingering chill in the air.


Dark Garden "Cincher" in red silk satin
and Pop Antique Hex Crown Pillbox in red sinamay.
Available at Dark Garden in San Francisco.
via @DarkGardenCorsetry on Instagram.
Accessories & Treats

Apothekerri: Fizzy Melts, "Love Spell," $6 - Get snug in the tub with luxuriously scented fizzy melts. These effervescent bath bombs are super moisturizing and smell ah-mazing.

Pop Antique: Hex Crown Pillbox, $110 - Why not pair your Risqué corset with a sinamay mesh pillbox hat? Pop Antique's pillbox hats are all hand-blocked and hand-finished with millinery wire and lovely petersham ribbon. The back of the hat band has a slot for modular pairing with Pop Antique's super-versatile Bow Clip Fascinator ($32-$35).

Kalico Delafay: Horsehair & Lace Fascinators, $112.50+ - Dark Garden's associate designer Kalico Delafay designs our incredibly popular Dollymop line of corsets, but her millinery skills are even more impressive. Her horsehair and lace creations, trimmed with vintage feathers and buttons, are wonderful cocktail hats for a picnic or a night at the opera. Normally retailing for $225-$250, the fascinators are currently 50% off.


Dita Von Teese "Her Sexcellency" lingerie set
Available at Dark Garden in San Francisco
Lingerie

Evgenia: Handmade red silk panties, $65 - Formerly Honey Cooler Handmade, local designer Stephanie Bodnar has rebranded her locally made line as Evegnia. Dark Garden still has a handful of unique one-off silk panties and camisoles featuring her expert and elegant insertion lace technique.

Dita Von Teese: Mancatcher Set, $40+$55 - Mancatcher it may be named, but I can say from experience that this style works just as well on the ladies! This set is an instant classic in red satin and black lace, with diagonal seams accenting a sheer lace cup.

Dita Von Teese "Her Sexcellency" lingerie setand Dark Garden "Risqué Cincher" in red silk/black mesh.
Available at Dark Garden in San Francisco
Model: Euphrates X. Photo © Joel Aron
Dita Von Teese: Her Sexcellency Set, $40-$70 - This stand-out set has both a push-up and a longline overwire bra option in glossy satin. Bottom's up with matching panties and suspenders - why not pair those with our new-old stock vintage stockings? It's a guaranteed stunner no matter how you style it.

Dita Von Teese: Parisienne Half Slip, $200 - Polka dots are so on point these days, and you're sure to charm in this darling half slip with bow and godet detailing. If you're feeling playful, try layering it over a sexy sheath dress for a floaty lingerie-as-outwear look.

Dita Von Teese "Parisienne" half-slipand Dark Garden "Alexandra" in black poplin and leather.
Available at Dark Garden in San Francisco
Model: Euphrates X. Photo © Joel Aron

Dark Garden Corsets

Monthly Special Fabrics, $200 off - Each month, we offer a discount on a select few custom fabrics from our couture loft. This month, we've got a luscious palette of red and black: a cheery red poplin, black filigree silk brocade, and super luxe red patent leather. You can read more about each of these fabrics here.

Dark Garden "Cincher" in red silk satin.
Model: Victoria Dagger. Photo © Joel Aron.
Cincher in Red Silk Satin, $475 - Gorgeous red silk makes a perfect corset for daywear, foundations, or even waist training. Our Cincher is fit from an average of thousands of bespoke corsets, making for an incredibly comfortable and curvaceous cinching experience. All corsets are handmade on-site in our San Francisco boutique, guaranteeing the highest level of quality. If well cared for, a Dark Garden corset is an investment that can last years or even decades.

Dark Garden "Risqué Sweetheart" in red silk/black mesh.
Model: Dwoira Galilea. Photo © Joel Aron
Sweetheart Risqué in Red Silk with Black Mesh, $555 - Of course, if you want to take it to the next level, you could pair that luminous red silk with super sexy sheer mesh. Our corsetry mesh is both strong and breathable, and the Risqué line comes standard with a modesty panel and detachable garters.


Dita Von Teese "Savoir Faire" Lingerie Setand Dark Garden "Cincher" in black brocade
Available at Dark Garden in San Francisco
Model: Euphrates X. Photo © Joel Aron
If you're looking to buy a special gift or a sexy treat for yourself, Dark Garden is happy to help you in finding just the thing. We also have gift cards available if you're uncertain of size or color preference. Come by and visit us at 321 Linden St, Thursday through Tuesday for a corset fitting or gift consultation. We open at 11am every day, except for Wednesdays when we are open only by appointment. Give us a ring at 415-431-7684 for over-the-phone inquiries.

Dark Garden "Dollymop Overbust"
Photo © Joel Aron
-Marianne
Multi-Purpose Corsetiere

Friday, January 23, 2015

Fabulous Foundations at LA's Vintage Fashion Expo!

Dark Garden "Corselette"
Model: Dark Garden proprietress Autumn Adamme
Photo © Joel Aron
Dark Garden is so excited to return to the Los Angeles Vintage Fashion Expo on February 7th & 8th, where we will once again share a booth with ReVamp. You can see us there and get professionally fitted for a ready-to-wear or bespoke corset at The Reef, 1933 Broadway St., Los Angeles. Tickets are $12-$30, or only $5 with a valid student ID on Sunday. The Vintage Fashion Expo hosts an array of vendors with gorgeous original vintage clothing and accessories, but, in the words of Christian Dior:
"Without proper foundations, there can be no fashion."
What foundations? Foundation garments - corsets, of course! Most vintage pieces were cut to be worn with at least a girdle or merry widow, so their waists tend to be too small with a different hang and posture if worn without shapewear. A Dark Garden corset makes a wonderful foundation for vintage dresses and gowns, yet is cut to suit modern bodies with unparalleled all-day support and comfort. Our standard fit line is based on an average of thousands of our handmade bespoke corsets, and doesn't pinch or roll like stretch shapewear.

Dark Garden "Risqué Cincher"
Model: Khadijah. Photo © Joel Aron
We'll be bringing a selection of our Basics in simple and sturdy black poplin as well as our Risqué line. The Risqué's single-layer mesh construction with luscious silk-satin accents makes it a lightweight, comfortable, and oh-so-sexy base for any ensemble, and comes standard with detachable garters... perfect for snag-free support of your vintage nylon stockings!

Dark Garden "Risqué Cincher"
Model: Euphrates X. Photo © Joel Aron

Our partner ReVamp specializes in exacting period reproductions from 1910-1957 with all the vintage style and none of the vintage DNA. ReVamp was originally founded as the brainchild of current owner Annamarie von Firley and Dark Garden proprietress Autumn Adamme. Though our two companies are now separate entities we have always maintained a close relationship with Annamarie von Firley. Indeed, Autumn is often seen working at Dark Garden in her ReVamp "Maisie" sailor slacks.

Left: Annamarie von Firley of ReVamp
Right: Dark Garden's Autumn Adamme
The Vintage Fashion Expo is the first of many events in Los Angeles we are doing next month. We'll also be doing a trunk show at Jenette Bras on February 8th, another trunk show hosted by ReVamp on February 13th, and of course, the Edwardian Ball on February 14th!

Dark Garden "Corselette"
Photo © Joel Aron
-Marianne
Multi-Purpose Corsetiere

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Fabric Specials for Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and we have some red-hot fabric specials for you! These fabrics are available on any made-to-order corset for a limited time only. We are waiving the custom fabric fee (a $200 savings) on the following sultry styles through the end of February.

Dark Garden's fabric specials for Valentine's Day:
Black filigree brocade, red patent leather, and red poplin.
Red Poplin: Available in either basic or Signature construction, our poplin is a wonderfully hard-wearing fabric. Signature Collection corsets come complete with loops for detachable garters (garters sold separately) and a back panel to sit behind your back lacing. This brilliant scarlet hue is usually only available behind our sumptuous lace overlay, but for the next month you can have it as a sturdy (and economical) alternative to our luscious, luminous Signature red silk-satin.

Black filigree brocade in a finely woven silk/rayon blend.
Black Filigree Brocade: Make no mistake, a Dark Garden brocade is not like the loosely-woven polyester fabrics you'll find at your local fabric store. This gorgeous and subtle brocade features a tightly-woven black-on-black filigree motif. This silk/rayon blend is suitable for either an occasional night out or consistent wear for waist training. Did you know that all Dark Garden brocades are carefully matched at the center front and center back to create an uninterrupted repeating pattern?

Dark Garden "Sweetheart" corset in red poplin.
Red Patent Leather: For the ultimate, super-shiny, luxe experience, you just can't top a patent leather corset! We go to great lengths to source leather with the right qualities for corsetry. Our patent leather molds around the body but doesn't crack like vinyl. This means your corset will have a longer life, lasting years with proper care. The red patent leather is not just a standalone statement piece: it makes a stunningly versatile foundation for cosplay and is a guaranteed head-turner at the Folsom St. Fair.

Dark Garden "Sweetheart" corset in red patent.
Model: Anneka | Photo © Marianne Faulkner
These fabrics are available only in-store or over the phone - pop into 321 Linden St., San Francisco for an expert fitting and handle these limited edition options for yourself, or call us at 415-431-7684. This is the perfect time to place an order for Valentine's Day in these special fabrics or our classic Signature Collection, such as the Risqué Collection: a perennial favorite for boudoir or foundation wear.

Dark Garden Risqué Sweetheart in red silk and black mesh.
Model: Victoria Dagger | Photo © Joel Aron.
Dark Garden "Cincher"
in red silk satin.
© Joel Aron

Corset squeezes,
Marianne
Multi-Purposes Corsetiere

Last Call for the Edwardian Ball!

Did your true love completely fail to deliver on the ladies dancing and lords a-leaping for Christmas? Don't worry, the Edwardian Ball has you covered! This annual event is inspired by the whimsically macabre works of Edward Gorey and showcases a broad array of entertainments, vendors, and costumed attendees.

The 15th Annual Edwardian Ball: Edward Gorey's "The Beastly Baby"
Yes, the Edwardian Ball is nearly upon us: Next Friday and Saturday, January 16th & 17th, prepare for a marvelous and oh-so-stylish spectacle at the Regency Ballroom. Thank you to all who turned out for our What to Wear to the Edwardian Ball styling party. If you're still on the fence about whether to go to the ball, which night to attend, or whether to spring for VIP tickets, we've got those answers right here for you.

Style inspiration: model Nicole Simone in carnival-inspired finery. Photo © Aaron Fagerstrom
Friday at the Edwardian Ball is the "World's Faire" and is hosted by MC Kingfish of Hubba Hubba Revue fame. This first night of the ball has a slightly more casual vibe - as much as any ball could ever be considered "casual," that is! Daywear-inspired styling is more acceptable for Friday night... perhaps a fun circus outfit will get you in the mood for a pedal-powered carousel by Cyclecide and carnival games from The Barbary Coast Midway! Prepare to dance to DJs Shakti Bliss and Fact.50 as well as musical performances by Diego's Umbrella, The Speakeasy Syndicate and Eric McFadden.

Dark Garden fashion show at the Edwardian Ball, featuring two Dollymop corsets and a bespoke Aziza.
Saturday is the Edwardian Ball proper, in all its Edward Gorey glory! Dress to the nines for an evening of ballroom dance and performances. With MC Armitage Shanks, the main stage will brim with entertainments all night long. Rosin Coven, the world's premier pagan lounge ensemble, are both the hosts of the ball and the house band. As ever, we will debut a stunning new collection of corseted ensembles during our fashion show spectacular, this year in collaboration with Edwardian Ball headliners, the Vau de Vire Society. At the end of the night, the Vau de Vire Society will also stage a second show: a production of Edward Gorey's "The Beastly Baby." These circus virtuosos are not to be missed, and we could not be more thrilled to partner with them for our Saturday fashion show!

The Vau de Vire Society at the Edwardian Ball, headlining Saturday night's entertainments.
On both nights, you can look forward to spectacular life size Edward Gorey cutouts, the antics of Fou Fou Ha!, and the swirling skirts of Le Cancan Bijou. Upstairs in the opulent red Lodge, we'll be displaying more fashionable Dark Garden delights on living statues and sensual shadow screens. There's a full bar and a hot food menu, and even an Absinthe Bar featuring Treasure Island's Raff Distillerie (who also just so happens to make my favorite gin). That's just a sampling of course... the amusements are nearly too numerous to list (but are, in fact, listed on the Edwardian Ball website.)

Le Cancan Bijou at the Edwardian Ball
The Edwardian Ball will also be coming to Los Angeles on Saturday, February 14. How's that for a very memorable Valentine's Day or a fabulous night of solo fun with friends (or your personal harem)!

VIP lounge at the Edwardian Ball
Dark Garden still has available tickets for the San Francisco Edwardian Ball and World's Faire. Ticket sales are cash only in our boutique at 321 Linden St., San Francisco. General Admission tickets are $50 (Friday) or $57 (Saturday), covering an evening of dancing and entertainments as well as a beautifully eclectic vendor's bazaar. VIP tickets are $97-$102 and also include access to an exclusive VIP lounge with plenty of seating with a spectacular view of the main stage. All prices include a small handling fee.

© Clarence Alford

We can't wait to see you there!

-Marianne
Multi-Purpose Corsetiere