Well it’s official, there’s one week to go until Christmas and there’s so much to do! You must be feeling the same? If you’re just joining me now, welcome! Let me introduce myself – I’m Lowana and I run Vanyanis ~ a small independent corsetry and apparel business based out of Yarra Glen (a little town just an hour’s drive from Melbourne), Australia. Up until very recently Vanyanis was a one-woman business but I’ve recently taken on an amazing assistant, Julianne, and together we make up the small team behind my label. I’m looking forward to having my first ever Vanyanis Christmas party with Julianne and the fashion students/interns who’ve helped me over the past year. It’s seems a small thing, but to me it symbolizes taking that next step in my business and I’m so excited for what the new year will bring. Continue reading
Hello dear readers! I hope this finds you all well? Today I’m delighted to share with you the set of photos from my photo shoot with gorgeous model Jess and Chris Murray Photography at the 2015 Oxford Conference of Corsetry.
It was a dream-come-true to get the opportunity to work with Jess as I’ve closely followed her work over the years and have often wished for the opportunity to style her in my garments. Jess regularly models for Kiss Me Deadly (lingerie for femme fatales) and it was there that I first ‘discovered’ her. Continue reading
This post has been a quite a while coming (as ever life and commissions has kept me busy), but welcome to the second instalment of my Corset Pilgrimage (2014)! If you’re just joining me now, be sure to read the first blog entry before continuing on. The Oxford Conference of Corsetry was the main highlight of my trip last year, full of so much activity that it warranted its own separate installment. I’m setting off to England in a couple of months to attend the 2015 conference and so I thought I should finally finish this post before my next trip. This post is quite lengthy and filled with lots of photos so make yourself a drink and then sit down and read all about it Continue reading
This post will probably most appeal to other corsetmakers, wearers and lovers of history. I’m delighted to share this “corset geekery” journey with you and hope you enjoy the glimpse into this (extensive) process. Last year I visited the Symington Antique Corset Collection when I was on my first “corset pilgrimage” in England. One of the things I loved most about the precious antique corsets were the busks. Some of the busks had interesting shaped loops, some had monograms stamped into them and same had gorgeous laurel leaf designs. It was the latter which I loved the most (I adore little ornate details that are subtle and may not be apparent at first glance) but I also loved the idea of busk loops having ‘Vanyanis’ stamped subtly in them (no one would ever be able to ‘knock off’ a design with that as the defining feature!) But I’m getting ahead of myself… Continue reading
Inspiration is a unique and personal thing for any artist. I find inspiration in many places (books, movies, history, architecture, nature…) and today I’d like to share one particular aspect of inspiration for me, Haute Couture. This post contains plenty of drool-worthy videos, so do make yourself a drink and get settled in!
The first video I would like to share with you is probably the most inspirational of them all (for me personally at least). It’s a behind-the-scenes look at one of my most favourite designs (ever!). It’s one dress from the Dior Spring/Summer 2011 Haute Couture collection by Continue reading
Hello dear readers! I’m thrilled to present the images from my photo shoot with Morgana and Scott Chalmers at the Oxford Conference of Corsetry back in August. I’ve been hanging out to see the photos and it was definitely worth the wait! The whole conference was jam packed (you can read all about it in my next post) and the short photography slot was no different. We only had 20 minutes of shooting time so it was pretty fast paced. It’s a good thing Morgana is such a professional and practiced model as she posed quickly and was just an absolute dream to work with. She is wearing the Selene corset which I made as my conference ‘show piece’. It’s a luscious grey silk, overlain with black tulle, layers of lace and thousands of hand sewn beads. We styled it with a flower crown by Liv Free, and some pretty stockings of Morgana’s. Morgana and I actually teamed up and did a separate shoot after the conference which I’ve already written about , so do make sure you check it out if you haven’t already.
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a local 1920’s themed ball with some close friends and family and we truly had a wonderful time. I’ll be the first to admit that the ‘twenties is not my most favorite era of historic dress (personally the silhouette doesn’t suit my curvy figure) but it is always fun to try something different and I always say, if you’re going to do something, you may as well do it properly! I’ve always preferred eras that have focused on nipped-in waists for womenswear (I’ve always been enchanted with corsetry in particular) but I have to say that I do admire the beautiful beadwork and intricate detail of the 1920’s regardless of the lack of attention to the waist. TV series like Downton Abbey, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (which I’m proud to say is filmed in Melbourne) and The House of Elliot have always captivated me with their elegant costumes. These shows have won me over to the era and made me give it a second chance (so to speak) and I do recommend checking out them out if you haven’t already! Continue reading
It is with great delight that I present to you the complete set of amazing photos from my photo shoot with Threnody in Velvet, (also known as Morgana). I first worked with Morgana back in 2012 (and blogged about it here) so it was incredibly special being able to visit her studio and work with her in person as part of my corset pilgrimage. We’ve been online friends since working together so it was absolutely lovely getting to meet in person. For those not in the know, Morgana is an incredibly talented model, photographer, retoucher, and hair and makeup artist and a complete sweetheart on top of all that! Continue reading
My two weeks in England were a bit of a whirlwind! I managed to fit in a lot of things and I’m so glad I made the effort to do so as the result has been some amazing experiences, new friends and much knowledge learnt. I had planned to write and publish blog posts about my trip whilst over in England but my itinerary proved to be very full, with little down time.
The lead up to my departure was certainly busy. There were bags to pack, corsets to finish (or at least get the machine stitching part done) and a million other bits and pieces that seemed to keep making their way onto my list. Continue reading
It’s been a little over two weeks since I received a call telling me the tragic news that my friend Christine Wickham had passed away (the night before the call). Over the past two weeks I’ve grieved for the loss of my friend, and raged at the unfairness of it all. She was taken much too soon at only 21 (she would have turned 22 on the 29th of July), and her death came as a horrid shock – one doesn’t expect to lose close friends at such a young age. After attending her funeral on Friday, I finally felt ready to write about the amazing person and wonderful friend she was. It is still unfathomable to me that she is gone, but her memory lives on in the lives of those she touched and I know I will remember her for the rest of my life. No words can truly do her justice, but I feel compelled to honour her memory in my own small way.