|Dark Garden Aziza corset|
Model: Vienna La Rouge
Photo © Joel Aron
Along the way to explaining these things, I’m going to take a moment to say that while I may not be the first person to choose to lace corsets this way, I know that I worked it out all on my own. I believe it has since been named cross lacing – I’m not sure, it’s just how I do it. It happened sometime between 1989, when I started and named Dark Garden, and 1992, when Monique Motil joined me and our quest for corset mastery truly began.
|Dark Garden corset, laced without our signature crossed waist loops|
In the three photos above you’ll see three types of lacing. The photo directly above illustrates how many corsets are laced these days, and how nearly all corsets were laced when I started making corsets (1987 - yes, I WAS a child). I decided to re-lace one of ours to show why I personally don’t like it. You’ll notice that there’s a gap at the waist, where the garment is tightest. In addition, the skin that has been pulled to the back of the body bulges between the laces, even on this very slender corset wearer.
|Dark Garden corset, laced to our standard method|
The second photo shows the same corset put back to rights. (Kidding, it’s laced as all Dark Garden corsets are: to my preference, right or wrong.) You’ll see that at the waist there’s more lacing, instead of less. Therefore, the skin there is supported, and kept inside the corset.
|Maidenform advertisment circa 1990|
The third photo is a Maidenform advertisement which has been part of my inspiration wall in 5 locations now, since 1990. I ripped it out of Cosmopolitan Magazine, if I recall correctly. You’ll see that one of the pairs of grommets has been skipped, and I wondered for a while why they’d do this, but I also thought at first that the laces crossed, as we do our laces. I recall looking at this photo and wondering how the top ribbon went to the bottom and vice versa (I was a kid, remember?) and I experimented, and came up with what we’ve been doing ever since.
Since I’ve taken a ride in the way-back machine to write this post, I must give credit where credit is due. My friend Jwlhyfer de Winter laced her corsets with satin ribbon when everyone else was using round cord or shoe lace. She did this because she liked how easily it slid through the grommets, and I copied her. I also like that you can buy it in so many colors and it’s really darn strong. As my friend and rope-bondage expert Mistress Midori pointed out, satin ribbon is braided polyester – which really is just pretty rope.
So, to sum up: The strength of cross-lacing is greater than conventional lacing and I rest my case there! If you're interested in learning more about corset lacing, do come by our upcoming How to Lace Up a Corset event on Friday, March 4! We will also be hosting this event on several other dates throughout the year at our 321 Linden St., San Francisco boutique.