August 25, 2015

The Witch's Wardrobe, Period Corsets® and Lucy Lawless

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    Period Corsets® again had the pleasure of working with gifted costume designer Joseph Porro for Salem, Season 2. This year brought us an awe inspiring collection of embroidered and embellished Corsets and Bodices with exquisite stomachers. The luxurious and unique materials graced a new character played by the fabulous Lucy Lawless.
Lucy Lawless as "Marburg" wearing a boned bodice by Period Corsets®
    Entering the second season of Salem, we meet the commanding Countess Palatine Ingrid Von Marburg, the last true sorceress in an ancient line of powerful German witches. The Countess is determined to dethrone Mary Sibley through a power battle, bring the devil to Earth, and leave a trail of death and destruction behind her. Her past, rife with scandal and rich in misbegotten evil schemes, is perpetuated through her power of resurrection.

    The storied past of Countess Marburg's complex character is reflected in the textured layers of her intricately  constructed costumes.

Lawless in bronze lame boned bodice with captive Tituba in leather corset, both by Period Corsets® 

  "I have had so many names: Hecate, Medea, and  Bathory are just a few. I'm the Swallower of Souls, She who flowers from her wounds. I'm the last of the first, I am the last of the true witches."                            -Countess Marburg

Marburg preps her potions while wearing a Period Corsets® Kristina  corset in purple silk.

    A third of the custom boned bodices Period Corsets® made for Salem this season were for the Countess Marburg. Her wardrobe consisted of rich jewel tones in lush fabrics- silk, velvet, lame, fur and leather.  As a Countess, her wardrobe had to be dripping with emblems of her wealth and power, which were evoked by heavily beaded and embroidered stomachers.

A few of the fabulous embellished stomachers for "Countess Marburg"

Gold beaded and embroidered Period Corsets® custom boned bodice with sleeves

    It was a true collaboration between Period Corsets®  and the Salem costume designer, Joseph Porro, and his talented costuming team.

    Period Corsets® tailored every bodice to showcase the hand embroidery of the center front panel. The stomacher, as it is called in historic garments, is usually a removable piece, but for this series we decided to build the stomachers into the garments.
Fitting in the custom embroidered stomacher to a velvet boned bodice. 
   The raw and uncut lengths of yardage of each type of fabric arrived from India, where artisans had masterfully embroidered the custom design motifs specified by Mr. Porro and the Salem design team. These fabrics exceeded our wildest imagination. They were exquisitely hand embroidered with thick coiled bullion and beaded in fantastic ornamental designs sometimes incorporating the character's monogrammed single initial.
Embroidered real silver lame yardage from India 

Detail of silver embroidered bullion stomacher in a Period Corsets® bodice

Lucy Lawless wears a custom boned bodice with embroidered stomacher by Period Corsets®

    Period Corsets® then had the challenge of fitting these extraordinary pieces of artwork into the pattern of each particular bodice and stomacher shape. Every garment was pinned or tucked and altered to perfection, depending on the length and width of these fabulous embroidered one-of-a-kind works of art.

Marburg's golden bodices with heavy embroidery and beaded monograms. 

Marburg's ensembles are heavily laden with detail, overtly displaying her weighty role in society. Her color palette consisted of romantic jewel tones and golden hues in contrast to that of her nemesis Mary Sibley's less ostentatious darker tones. Her fabrics capture the bold and the passionate, with deep Gothic touches; a kaleidoscope of shimmering facets, from added embellishments or fibers in the fabric itself.  Seeing her stroll into a scene gives you the immediate sense of the power and importance she embodies.

Burgundy velvet bonded bodice with tie-on sleeves and embroidered stomacher

 Period Corsets® bodices and corsets provided the base palette for the Salem costumers to build on. After  the bodices arrived in their studio, their design team added more detail.  Period Corsets® applauds Mr. Porro's talent in combining unique base fabrics with  overlays of sheers, nets and textures to create  dynamic  ensembles that encapsulate the feeling of  the character.  He  creates depth to his costumes that intrigue the mind of the viewer.

Unique Materials- left, green satin with webbed sequin lace overlay
right top, navy and silver bodice with navy velvet bullion embroidery
right bottom, tie-dye velvet in greens, blues and black

For Marburg's finale, we see her in a black on black leather and fur ensemble made from no less than four types of material. The front stomacher piece was crafted of embossed leather, to give the appearance of crocodile skin. The rest of the bodice used various textured furs that had been trimmed to match the pattern of the leather. Sewing with leather requires its own unique set of skills and tools.

 By choosing such exotic materials, Mr. Porro's designs literally mold Countess Marburg into the tough-minded and fierce character we see on screen, transforming her into the wild animal she truly is.
Marburg's Finale- boned bodices made of embossed crocodile leather with textured fur sides.

For more photos of our work with Joseph Porro and Salem, see our Pinterest Board "Salem, From Design to Finish"

and our related blog posts:
Period Corsets and Salem; Witch War, the battle of the stomachers!




June 22, 2015

The Ballet Petticoat

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Introducing our newest addition to the Period Corsets® petticoat line, the Ballet Petticoat. Designed with musical theatre in mind, this shorter, flirty petticoat offers dancers a full range of movement, showcasing the twirls and high kicks of any choreography.

Ballet Petticoat in a twirl

Here at Period Corsets® we develop all of our products in house based directly on the needs of our clients. The Ballet Petticoat is no exception. We created these garments for Broadway productions of Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast.
Disney's Beauty and the Beast, International Tour, photo by Joan Marcus
The Ballet Petticoat is a great pick for musical theater with it's frilly ruffle and it's more-than-a-circle skirt fullness at the hem. It has a 25" waist to hem length with four 1/2" tucks, for length alterability, and a circumference of 240" at the hem.  The petticoat is created with 5 bias-cut circular gores gathered into a yoke with an adjustable drawstring waistband, to fit your waist perfectly. It fits well under a corset or bodice for a nice, smooth look from waist to hip.
adjustable waistband works great on top or underneath a corset or bodice
The Ballet Petticoat is crafted from one hundred percent cotton so that it can be dyed and allows for breathable comfort. We make it in our five sizes with options for custom sizing. As with all of our retail garments, the Ballet Petticoat is alterable to your specifications. We can make it longer or out of different fabrics, giving you many usable options from a fluffy underskirt to a full skirt for outerwear.
Ballet Petticoat in action
 When we add a product to our retail line we take our clients  needs into account. We choose the silhouette and attributes that are the most commonly requested for productions. We make a high-quality garment with our customary petticoat finishing details. Give us your ideas and we're happy to customize our products to create your garment dreams.
 John Kristiansen New York Inc added their own layer of net with eyelet trim.
 photo courtesy of JoJo Johnson
Whether we're creating your finished garment or something you'll be adding the final touches to in your shop, Period Corsets® goal is to save you time and money. We create the underwear so you can focus on outerwear!

Let's take 'er for a spin! Watch the Ballet Petticoat in action!


Ballet Petticoat in motion from Hilary Specht on Vimeo.














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