Swimming Corset FAQ

Wow! Thank you all for your amazing interest in the swimming corset. I had no idea the level of enthusiasm you would have for this idea.

L1361492 Pop Antique Swimming Corset Victoria Dagger Alyx Ryan.jpg

As my original post made the rounds on Facebook, I noticed a few questions cropping up repeatedly:

  • But... why?
    Well... why not, mostly! The fancy struck me and I wanted to see what happened. As for why you, or anyone else, should want it now that it's happened – all the same reasons you'd wear a corset in the first place! (Except maybe historical reenactment.) Are you waist training and looking to maintain your reduction while also hitting the beach? Do you perhaps respond to the deep pressure therapy of wearing a corset? Are your joints hypermobile? Any of those reasons and more are grounds for considering a swimming corset.
  • Can you really swim in it? That seems highly improbable and/or like a terrible idea!
    I am definitely not suggesting using this corset for swimming Olympic laps! This is fashion swimwear, much like many other beautiful bathing suit designs – what's up, string bikini? It absolutely can be safely submerged and worn while splashing about, but it is not intended for serious sportsmanship. Additionally, for those who aren't already familiar with my work, I tend to fit my corsets for minimal rib compression and high mobility to begin with.
    Personally, I didn't notice any reduction in my lung capacity. Part of what makes the swimming corset viable is that I varied the construction and materials to suit the activity, not just to make it waterproof. It's two layers of powermesh with no waist tape, so there is more room for rib and waist expansion as needed. Even the binding is elastic. The waist reduction is very modest.
  • So you mean it's a fashion corset, not a real corset?
    No, it's a real corset – there is a real waist reduction and appropriate hardware. Synthetic whalebone is different from regular plastic boning – it doesn't crumple over time, just molds beautifully as your body heat contours it to form. I didn't use a busk in it – but then again, my Minx ribbon corset doesn't call for one either!
  • Even if you technically can swim in it, isn't it uncomfortable?
    Honestly, I was way more concerned about the chlorine leeching the color from my freshly-dyed hair. (Shout-out to Katey at Glama-Rama!)
    I did not feel any discomfort or shortness of breath while wearing, lounging, shooting, and swimming in this piece. I used one of my bespoke patterns, and one of my major goals with corsetmaking is always maximum mobility and comfort, even in the standard fit. The use of powermesh took that to the next level.
  • What about cleaning and care?
    I rinsed it out thoroughly after swimming in it, then again when I got home, and hung it to dry. If you have a bigger sink, and more clean towels than I did that day, you could also handwash with a lingerie detergent like Soak, then roll it in the towel for a spell to aid the drying process, and finish with an air dry (outside, if possible). Once dry, I store it with my other corsets, rolled up. The corset is made from powermesh, which is often used in swimwear, although I did use small pieces of herringbone coutil as a casing for the underbusk and the center back bones and grommets.
  • Is this an all-in-one corset suit?
    No, I paired my bespoke swimming corset with Target's finest swimwear. Actually, finding a black bikini that fit me reasonably well was much more stressful than making the swimming corset! Technically, I could integrate more coverage into the piece, but for mobility I think it's best to have them as separates.
  • What was that about additional prototyping?
    I have a few more ideas I'd love to test out. In exchange for your feedback on these variations, I can offer something of a discount for a select few orders.
  • How do I place an order?
    Currently the swimming corset is waitlisted, mostly because I don't have synthetic whalebone in large quantities yet. If you don't mind waiting until the end of swim season (in this hemisphere, anyway), I might be able to make a couple more this year – please contact hello@popantique.com to get the ball rolling! You can even place a deposit to secure your place in the queue.
    Please note that I am taking orders for other types of corsets in the meantime! You can read more about that here – I'm running a sale on single layer Gibson Girls in select fabrics, through August 23rd, 2017.
  • So when will it really be available?
    I'd like to complete the prototype run by March of next year, which would allow me to begin taking orders in the spring so you can spend next summer splashing about! Thank you for your patience. In the meantime, I encourage you to sign up for my newsletter, to stay abreast of these developments.
L1361469 Pop Antique Swimming Corset Victoria Dagger Alyx Ryan.jpg

Sign Ups for OCOC16 Close This Month!

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!

Due to restrictions that we have with the new venue, we have to announce that although ticket sales are healthy, we need a further 20-25 definite sign-ups before the end of the month in order to meet the requirements of the venue and the conditions they have imposed upon us. If we do not meet that target, we will have to defer the conference to 2017 when we have our regular venue back.
— Oxford Conference of Corsetry

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.

Sketchbook excerpts as I designed my wedding gown (seen on the right).

Sketchbook excerpts as I designed my wedding gown (seen on the right).

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.

Technical drawing of wedding dress design.

Technical drawing of wedding dress design.

Eveningwear corsetry design sketched on vintage croquis pad.

Eveningwear corsetry design sketched on vintage croquis pad.

Build your design skills and your brand with us at OCOC16! We will have more workshops and more models than ever - just take a look at our 2016 programme! Sign up now for an unforgettable weekend in a classically English location.

Welcoming LeighAnn to the Pop Antique Team

Pop Antique has a new team member! Meet LeighAnn, my new assistant. I am overjoyed to have her on staff, enabling me to focus on my craft.

LeighAnn will be the main contact for new and existing clients - you'll first encounter her when you send your initial inquiry email. She'll walk you through the ordering and payment process and provide status updates on your order as-needed. If your consultation gives rise to any advanced questions, LeighAnn will run them by me before conveying the answers to you. Since my sewing machine and my computer are entirely separate entities, having email in LeighAnn's court will make for a much faster response time for you - and more efficient production for me. The Pop Antique queue for made to order corsetry is currently full, but LeighAnn will still be handling consultations as they come in, and has started a wait list for new orders.

While taking email off my plate is a Big Deal on its own, LeighAnn's presence in Pop Antique will have an even wider impact. LeighAnn will also be livening up the Pop Antique Facebook page and Twitter feed, and helping me with administrative production tasks like ordering fabrics and scheduling.

Bringing on an assistant is a crucial next step for the business and I have a very good feeling about this collaboration. Please welcome LeighAnn to the team!

~Marianne Faulkner
The Corsetrix, Pop Antique

P.S. LeighAnn's talents don't stop here, of course - check out her band, Good As Gone, based in Austin, TX.

A Brief Hiatus

Hello friends and fans,

Busy days here at Studio M, the Pop Antique headquarters! If you follow Pop Antique on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen that I am engaged! My partner and I are planning an October wedding, and as a pair of designers, we're DIYing much of it. We may also be moving soon, into a home of our very own. I try not to move very often, as I'm a very settled person. Between looking at houses online, finding a realtor, and actually going to open houses and eventually filling out much in the way of paperwork and making offers, I don't want to risk underestimating the impact this move will have on my available time.

My beautiful engagement ring! A recreation of a 1920s design, presented in, yes, a box that is shaped like a macaron and surrounded by actual macarons.

My beautiful engagement ring! A recreation of a 1920s design, presented in, yes, a box that is shaped like a macaron and surrounded by actual macarons.

I'm hoping this hiatus will only last a few weeks - as you can imagine, I don't really want to cut back on work now that I have a wedding to pay for! Starting in a month, I am pleased to announce that I am giving up one of my "day" jobs, and will focus on all things corset related. I am increasing my hours at Dark Garden, my mentor in corsetmaking, where I most notably work as a patternmaker. I'll be contributing regularly to the blog for the Oxford Conference of Corsetry, which will give me an outlet for a more technical side of my musings than that which I post on The Lingerie Addict. Hopefully I'll be updating this blog more as well with general pontifications about corsetry and waist training as well as studio news. I'm also working on a couple of exciting projects for waist trainers that I'd like to get off the ground over the summer.

Pop Antique Integrated Corsetry  Bombshell  in grey herringbone coutil and silver-shot mesh. Model: Victoria Dagger. Photo © Alyxander Ryan.

Pop Antique Integrated Corsetry Bombshell in grey herringbone coutil and silver-shot mesh. Model: Victoria Dagger. Photo © Alyxander Ryan.

Of course I will be completing all current orders if we've already been in touch. If you've sent an inquiry about an order and not received a response, I do apologize. Until I am caught up on current work and my schedule is stabilized, I won't be taking on new commissions. If you happen to know of anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area who is interested in learning the art of corsetmaking, I am seeking an intern/assistant. Having an assistant would make a big difference in my studio and definitely have an impact on how quickly the hiatus ends.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Marianne Faulkner
Corsetrix, Pop Antique

Pre-Holiday Sale!

SALE! Pre-Holiday sale this weekend only, ends Monday night. Let's make waisted dreams come true! Corsets old and new are on sale, as are made-to-order accessories. Treat yourself or buy a gift for a super-special and super-lucky friend. Help a corsetmaker pay for her silly cat's surgery in the process!

Sample Sale!
I am selling a few early Pop Antique samples at starkly discounted prices. This is the first time I have done a sample sale! Note that samples are sold as-is and may not be an accurate reflection of current fit and construction.

New Orders Sale!
If you're ready to take the plunge on a Pop Antique corset, put down a deposit for a made-to-order or bespoke piece! You can also place a deposit on the behalf of a friend or loved one, then pass over the consultation to them. Consultations already in progress are also eligible, but it's first come, first serve regarding the sale pricing! Please note that turnaround times are currently extended; talk to me if you have a special due date and I'll see if it can be accommodated. To help speed along the consultation process, decide on a style and review the size chart and fabric offerings.

  • First order gets 20% off plus a free blocked hat, designed to match their corset!
  • Next two receive 20% off!
  • The next two orders will receive 15% off!
  • The next five orders will receive a free fascinator (any size, any color combination).

Accessories Sale!
Made to Order accessories are all 25% off! Use discount code nonothankyou2014. Featherlight fascinators make perfect toppers for holiday party ensembles, and great stocking stuffers! Keep cozy this winter with snuggly knit fingerless gloves. Why not pair a Bow Clip Fascinator with a Mesh Pillbox for a fun, modular power-duo of cranial style?

I hope I'll hear from you soon!  Happy holidays.

I say hello! Hello, hello!

Welcome to Pop Antique's brand new blog! Many of you may know me as a weekly columnist at The Lingerie Addict, where I've been a writer since 2011. I will continue to dispense weekly corseting advice and lingerie reviews from a general perspective there, and this space will focus on Pop Antique events, new styles, sketchbook concepts (available for commission!), and so forth.

Corsetrix Marianne Faulkner in custom Sherbert Doll corset, next to gilded mannequin in Corset Paradise. Photo © Sparklewren.

Corsetrix Marianne Faulkner in custom Sherbert Doll corset, next to gilded mannequin in Corset Paradise. Photo © Sparklewren.

To the right, there are feeds of my latest posts for The Lingerie Addict, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.  Have a look through and follow me on your platforms of choice.

The Oxford Conference of Corsetry has just passed, where I once again was featured as a speaker.  My boss and mentor, Autumn Adamme of Dark Garden, was also there this year, as our keynote speaker (and she really blew me away!) I miss my lovely friends and colleagues in the UK and across the world already, particularly the other "Corset Fellows:" Julia Bremble, Jenni Hampshire, Alison Campbell, and Gerry Quinton.

Victoria Dagger in Valentine corset in single layer coutil with contrast channels, waist tape, and peplum. Photo © Sparklewren.

Victoria Dagger in Valentine corset in single layer coutil with contrast channels, waist tape, and peplum. Photo © Sparklewren.

Being with other corsetieres is always such an inspiring occasion, so it's no wonder that I ended up spending some of my dedicated "jetlag recovery day" on updating the site here. (The rest of the day was spent sleeping at odd hours and hugging cats.) Check out the Integrated Corsets, Custom Corsets, and Corset Options pages for some new info and pretty pictures. New corset style pages will be up soon, as I shot five corsets during my two weeks in the UK. Sparklewren's Jenni Hampshire has become quite the shutterbug (both of the above photos are her work); I quite recommend subscribing to her Life Behind the Scenes blog to see more of her gorgeous photography as well as other insights and treasures. Jenni and I shot three of my corsets.  Then I had the marvelous Olivia Campbell, who is as sweet as she is lovely, model another two for me in London. Those photos will be up as soon as I develop the film (!!) from my new Diana Mini and scan the Polaroids we took.

The UK trip was also good fun, especially as my girlfriend (now fiancée) was able to come with me this year. First, we spent a day in London (though it mostly feels like a blur of trying to get our luggage through Tube stations with no lift), stayed with Jenni for a couple days (much hand sewing and photography happened - my poor corset widow!), and of course, then there was OCOC itself.  Next, we fell in love with... pretty much everything about Edinburgh. Morgan particularly enjoyed "scotch tasting in Scotland, where they just call it whisky!" Alison was our next gracious host, and she drove us up to Loch Lomond - the banks really are quite "bonnie." It was beautifully and serene. A long train ride saw us in Essex where we met with my sister, who drove us down to Brighton the next day, where we overnighted after a day of (window) shopping, carnival rides on the pier, and a sleepy tour of the local nightlife. My sister and I jammed out to the lounge singer at Betty La La's, who was singing standards and oldies.

Still, I hadn't realized how much I missed California until our plane started its descent to SFO, the familiar coastline in view. The weather was perfect when we returned to San Francisco, and we're glad to be home.