The Oxford Conference of Corsetry is a can't-miss event for corsetmakers. Though for many it is a yearly pilgrimage, it's an event that every person in the craft should try to attend at least once. The networking and sense of community is not found anywhere else, whether you're a beginner or an expert. Each year's program is stronger than the last. The workshop leaders, keynote speaker, and models are all top-notch. This year, sign ups are closing early, and I encourage you to take the plunge if you've been tempted by the program!
I've been involved with the conference since its inaugural year, when I was on the committee of Corset Fellows. In its second year, I taught a workshop on pattern grading corsets, and my mentor Autumn Adamme of Dark Garden came as our keynote speaker. Last year, I attended as a regular delegate to experience the workshops first hand. Autumn in turn brought Mister Pearl himself and led a curated Q&A panel with him.
For the 2016 programme, I am slated to teach a workshop on illustration. Fashion illustration was my passion before I discovered corsetry. My sketching skills have come in incredibly handy for designing my ready-to-wear line and custom pieces both. I use my sketchbook to map the construction of integrated corset concepts, which simplifies the patterning and sketchbook phases. On Sunday, there will be an additional mini workshop in which I discuss technical flats. And for the conference gift bags, I'm working on special croquis which delegates can use as a template for their own designs. The latter is inspired by a vintage croquis pad which I've been using of late.