Vintage Lynndy Loo - Corsets for the modern
Digger talked to Lynndy Loo
about these modern day corsets which are proving very popular
with a wide spectrum of clients. Lovers of burlesque, brides
and waist trainers amongst them, there is even a
rapidly-growing male client-base too.
Please tell us something of your background and the background
to Vintage Lynndy Loo.
Lynndy Loo: I was discharged on
medical grounds from the RAF in 2004 with chronic arthritis.
For years I was unable to work as my specialists worked to
stabilise my health. Having worked ever since I left full time
study at 19, I was completely at a loss as to what to do with
myself day in & day out. So I joined my local theatre group's
wardrobe team. It was like doing a condensed apprenticeship
under some incredibly talented ladies' guidance. In September 2006,
we did Jekyll & Hyde & the director wanted 7 mock up corsets
made. I made them using a bodice pattern I converted, using
plastic boning. After that I wanted to make a real one, which
I finally did in 2007 & I was hooked. Vintage Lynndy Loo
opened in June 2008 with 3 bridal commissions.
Please let us know more about the range of corsets and
accessories you have on offer and what can people expect from
your online store.
Lynndy Loo: I mainly make bespoke
corsetry. I am planning on having a small range of off-the-peg waspies, or waist clinchers in the online shop eventually, but
at the moment all my commissions are bespoke pieces. In the
online store, we have a range of Alchemy Gothic jewellery, a
product handmade in the UK, there's some off-the-peg skirts
as well as detachable suspenders. I've just sourced a lingerie
supplier, so we will be stocking ladies underwear, as well as
offering a few select pieces designed & made by myself. When
shopping at Vintage Lynndy Loo, clients can expect a quick
despatch on their goods, usually with 24 hrs of payment if
it's goods we have bought in. For the items we make to order,
we keep the dispatch time updated at all times, and we email
our clients with regular updates.
Digger: Please tell us more about
your fascination for and involvement with corsetry Lynndy Loo.
Lynndy Loo: I love corsetry
because it allows people to experiment with their body shape &
alter it. My clients come in many different shapes & sizes, so
each new commission is effectively a blank slate. The reasons
why people wear corsets are varied as well, so the
psychological aspect can be fascinating. Understanding why a
client wants the corset they do, is often key to coming up
with an appropriate design. I wear corsets myself, although
not on a daily basis as it's just not practical spending all
day behind a sewing machine tightly corseted! However, when I
do lace myself in, I love the sensation of the tightening.
It's a sensation people either love or hate! From a corset
building aspect, one of my biggest fascinations is drafting
the pattern. Simply by moving seam lines, you can change the
whole look of a corset. One of my clients has 5 corsets of
mine & not one of them was made to the same pattern. Yet
another one has 3 pieces of mine & the same pattern was used
each time. It's all down to personal preference. And a
person's "squish" factor. I.e how well their body corsets.
It's different for everyone and the one unknown factor until I
lace them into their toile.
You are launching a new T-Shirts range – please tell us about
Lynndy Loo: The t-shirts came about
because the VLL brand is growing stronger. I know that
corsets, especially the bespoke kind, are a luxury item and in
today's economy it's beyond some people's budgets. I had a lot
of people asking if I did anything cheaper, as they wanted
something from the brand but couldn't stretch to bespoke
corsetry. So after months of research, brain storming &
consideration, I decided to launch my own t-shirt range. There
will be a new one released every six months. So for
Spring/Summer 2012 the first VLL t-shirt will appear. The
t-shirt will be white & have a design and corsetry-related
slogan. They will also be numbered. I'm hoping to have them
ready to go on sale for 15th March. Then, come 15th September, a
new t-shirt will be released, this time a black shirt, and a
new slogan. The numbers will start from 1 again. Once the 2nd
t-shirt is released, the 1st will only be available until the
stocks are exhausted. I won't be re-printing them again.
Please let us know more about the commissions service you
Lynndy Loo: I offer all manner of
commissions. Last year I completed a fully submersible mermaid
costume for a client who was performing under water. It came
complete with a removable monofin and the majority of the
scales were stitched on individually. I also did a huge piece
for a film, although I can't discuss the details as the film
hasn't been released yet. At the moment, I'm on deadline for a
burlesque dancer in Australia. This is a full costume, and
will be her signature piece. From bridal to burlesque, film to
stage, I'm open to most bespoke commissions, the more unique
Why do you think that more
generally retro, vintage and nostalgia is so increasingly
popular with so many people these days?
Lynndy Loo: I think people are
beginning to realise that whilst historically times gone by
were a lot harder than they are today, people seemed happier.
I think people have become disenchanted with the immediacy &
disposable nature of things today. Certainly in terms of
fashion, there is only so much you can do with clothing. If
you think of iconic figures such as Christian Dior and his New
Look (1940s) or Vivienne Westwood & Punk (1970s), these were
trailblazers in fashion. Today we don't seem to have those
visionaries. Fashion has become almost androgynous, whereas
vintage fashion was designed more with a woman's shape in
mind. A 50s circle skirt will suit more than one type of
figure, today's modern skinny jeans, not so much. Women
dressed up more in by gone eras, although I know a lot of
women of today who will argue they had more time back then to
do so. That's certainly true.
I understand that corsets
are also popular with men. Please tell us more about that.
Lynndy Loo: Men & corsets -
still very much an underground trend, but far more popular
than people realise. There's often the assumption that a man
who wears a corset is either a cross-dresser, or transgender
have male clients who fall into both those categories. However, I'm currently waist training a gentleman who is
neither. For him it's about creating a more masculine shape.
He's got a lean body type & can't build his shoulders up. So
by reducing his waist, he will achieve the masculine shape
he's looking for. My pet hate are corset sellers who insist on
squashing men into corsets made for women in the mistaken
belief that it will give the male body more feminine shaping.
If the corset is not shaped correctly for the person wearing
it, then the desired outcome will never be achieved. Whether
the body wearing it is male or female. I only make male
corsets as bespoke items simply because the masculine reasons
for wearing a corset are quite often far more complicated than
that of the feminine. In order to draft the correct pattern, I
need to know what the male wearer is hoping to achieve. I am
currently working on a corseted male waistcoat for a gentleman
who wishes to be corseted without it being immediately obvious
under his suits.
Digger: What are your other retro
and vintage passions Lynndy Loo?
Lynndy Loo: My true passion
lies in historical costume. Particularly the Victorian era. I
have a huge variety of books showing exquisite garments, most
of them made by hand as sewing machines hadn't been invented.
I can only imagine the weeks and weeks of labour one garment
took to produce. The work & detailing are often incredible. I
also love the sumptuous fabrics they had in abundance back
then. A good portion of my day can be taken up searching for
the exact right fabric for a job, often having to source them
around the globe. I'm not so naive not to appreciate how hard
such work was, in often poor conditions, but back then, the
skill and mastery was breathtaking.
Who are your ‘typical’ customers, where are they coming from,
what are their various motivations for wearing corsets and
what customer feedback/comments do you get?
Lynndy Loo: The best part of my job is
there is no such thing as a 'typical' customer. My oldest
client was a gentleman in his 70s, my youngest a 15 year old
girl. They come from around the globe and want corsets from
bridal wear right through the spectrum to fetish wear. Some
are occasional wearers, others daily wearers. Some can only
lace down a couple of inches, others as much as 6-8 inches. I
have a lot of female clients who are very slender & wear
corsets to give them more defined shape. I have clients who
wear corsets to slim down or change their silhouette to
something they find more satisfying. Some of my favourite
corsets have been made for burlesque dancers. Their corsets
are often more elaborate & over-the-top which I love. Most of
my clientele come either by word of mouth, or seeing an
existing client in one of my pieces. A good example is, last
week I completed a lovely understated black piece to be
modelled at a shoot by my model, this week I'll be completing
a real show stopping piece for a burlesque dancer & next week
I'll be completing a leather underbust for a private client.
What would you say is special about the Vintage Lynndy Loo
Lynndy Loo: I like to think that the VLL experience is very personal. I invest a lot of time in my
clients & am happy to spend time getting the initial design
right, then further time perfecting the fit of their toile.
The toile, or mock up is what I use to make the final corset
from. I'm very open-minded, and equally happy making the most
understated piece to the flashiest. It's all about what the
client wants & realising their dream.
Digger: What are the best and most enjoyable aspects of
running Vintage Lynndy Loo?
Lynndy Loo: I love working for myself.
In the 3 years that VLL has been running I have met some
incredible people. From the most outlandish to the most
reticent, I seem to attract the most colourful of characters.
One of my favourite parts is that no two weeks are ever the
same. The business is constantly evolving & every new job
seems to bring a new horizon for me. But most of all, I'm just
grateful to be back at work after being in a situation where
it looked like I may never work again.
What are your plans for Vintage Lynndy Loo in the future?
Lynndy Loo: This year I plan to expand VLL in terms of the products we buy in. Doing this will
increase turnover, but allow me to concentrate on the bespoke
side of the business. This is also the year I release my first
collection. Entitled Warrior Women, this collection is more
about corsetry as art rather than clothing, and will be very
different to anything I've done before!
Digger: What does the Warrior Women range consist of?
Lynndy Loo: It's about strong
women, so they're going to be wearing a lot of armoured stuff
actually. But in leather rather than in metal.
Digger: Going back to Knights of Old?
Lynndy Loo: I'm going to be
doing a Valkyrie and she's going to be in a corseted leotard.
I'm just finishing my latest piece for Australia. I'm doing a
full bridal piece in white faux leather, a straightjacket
linked by a corset which is quite bizarre, a Boadicea and Joan
of Arc as well. With the Valkyrie in the corseted leotard I
want it to be an exact replica and rather than having metal
all over her it's actually going to be done in crystal. It
will be about 10,000 crystals on this piece. Different shades
of grey and black.
Digger: It's almost going down the works of art route, isn't
Lynndy Loo: That is what I
want. One of my clients is even talking about making these in
miniature for her collection of dolls. So I will be doing
high-end items but at the same time I don't want to remove
myself from the ground that I started from because I think
everybody needs to keep hold of where they came from. By doing
the collection, it allows me to have a completely different
audience sit up and take notice. So I can say "This is me,
this is what I can do if you give me the reins to do it with
and the budget." I appreciate that not everybody has that
budget but there are people out there that have. And, more
importantly, there are performers out there that have and if
you can hit that market then you'll never look back. I get a
chance to test my skills and be fairly paid for it.
Digger: It sounds very exciting
Costumes, Bridal, Accessories, Bespoke Services
Welcome to the home of sumptuous corsets and high
end corset based costumes! Here at Vintage Lynndy
Loo we strive to provide our clients with items
made from the best materials we can source
according to the job specification and budget.
From the simplest design to the most complex, we
aim to work with our clients every step of the way
as we bring to life your dream corset or costume.
Our client base covers the burlesque industry
through to the occasional wearer, the ardent
wearer, the waist trainer and the bride. There is
a corset for every occasion.
We don't just cater for the ladies either. We
provide custom made corsets for the gentleman
including those who wish to waist train.
Phone: 01502 580786
firstname.lastname@example.org (for enquiries
related to our online shop)
Vintage Lynndy Loo