A little while ago, drunk on my own power, I finally worked up the courage to ask Lucy, one of my all-around favourite youtubers, for an interview. She obliged (yeah, I don't know why either!) and I am ever so excited to finally get around to posting it up!
Kitty: To satisfy my own curiousity, I would love to know your ethnicity - you are just so lovely-looking and unique, I can't pin it down for the life of me. That probably sounds really creepy.
Lucy: In order of largest percentage to smallest, I have the following ancestry: African (I guess you can say "black", like from Ghana), Caucasian (western Europe including English, Scottish, German, French), East Indian, Chinese, and Native South American (Aztec). Since there are some adoptions and some lost papers, there is a small percentage of unknown lineage. All my ancestors ended up in the Caribbean for one reason or another, and I was born in Canada. I identify myself as Jamaican-Canadian.
Kitty: Tell me about your corset experiences - best, worst, favourite, and your first.
Lucy: My first corset experience was when I was about 15. My mother made me a black Victorian gown for Halloween and also a makeshift corset (a modified longline bra) and petticoat to go underneath. Since I was a stick figure at that age, I was thrilled by my new hourglass figure from the corset, and I loved the feeling of being held. I thought it was the coolest feeling to relax and "lean back" in the corset, and still be sitting ramrod straight. :D
|Tibby, Lucy's |
My worst corset experience was probably early on in my daily waist training about two years ago, and I was boarding the bus home from university. The bus took off before I was able to sit down and the inertia knocked me off balance - I engaged my core muscles reflexively to regain it, but since I was in my corset I ended up pulling a side muscle pretty badly. I had to take a week or two off training for my oblique muscle to heal.
My favourite corset experience... I'm not entirely sure I have a favourite! Wearing a corset to a formal event and having some ladies gasp and fawn over my outfit is always fun. (Men never really comment on my attire but I sometimes receive buggy eyes.) My first corset photoshoot was also a great experience! However I'm sure I will have even greater corset experiences in the future, so I'm holding out on that "favourite" moment. ;)
Kitty: Going off that question, the corset that you wear the most? I haven't gotten around to watching your collection video yet, but I want to bet you have over 9000! Is it ever hard to pick just one?
|I just thought this was a lovely|
Lucy: Haha, not quite over 9000 Vegeta, but somewhere between 30-40. The plan WAS to have a different corset to wear every day of the month, but not all corsets are that practical to wear. It's very difficult to pick just one at times! Of course, I have some that I wear more often than others.
At this time, I wear my waist training underbust from Heavenly Corsets or my Josephine underbust from Isabella Corsetry a lot in the daytime, and my WKD Baby cincher at night (if I choose to corset at night). On the days that I focus on getting a lot of sewing done, I don't corset at all. Therein lies the irony - I can't wear corsets while I'm making corsets.
Kitty: Do you have any corsets that you just feel are too precious to wear? Like the antique one I linked you to a little while ago. How about ones that look pretty on display, but terrible on?
Lucy: I have a few corsets like that - although I don't have any antique corsets, my "couture" overbusts are precious to me - these are the overbusts by Electra Designs, Puimond and Sparklewren. Sometimes I feel that I don't quite do them justice when I wear them, or that I need a special occasion to wear them.
Some of them have an extremely deep plunge and as such they're not suitable for casual attire and wearing a shirt underneath some of them just looks ridiculous. I also rarely wear them because I'm absolutely paranoid about spilling drinks/food on them, wearing them on a day where there's a chance of rain, etc.
An afforementioned Electra Designs corset
Kitty: Corset regrets - do you have any? The one that cost way too much for bad quality, youthful over-keen purchases where you bought a plastic boned one and thought you were just the coolest thing (you are)?
Lucy: Oh God, too many regrets to count. What I thought was my first "official" purchased tightlacing corset so many years ago ended up being a cheap plastic-boned thing from Burleska.
I still have regrets about some of my recent purchases though, such as my hasty bulk order from CorsetDeal when they came out with their new collection. I'm now out by several hundred dollars and own several relatively ill-fitting corsets.I have also purchased corsets from some companies like Orchard Corset or Gallery Serpentine solely on the requests of some viewers - I wouldn't have made the purchases if I hadn't been pressured by so many to do reviews on them, and I had severe buyer's remorse.
Some people don't realize how much of my savings I've spent just on filling requests on my Youtube channel. However, by doing reviews on those corsets, I've been told I've saved hundreds of other people from making the same expensive mistakes, so I try to think altruistically and say that it wasn't a total waste.
Kitty: How did you get into corsetry, and could you explain the tightlacing method you use? Are there any mistakes you made that you would like to share, or things that seemed a great idea at the time but were really quite terrible in retrospect?
Lucy: How exactly I got into corsetry is a very long complicated story, but basically I started getting serious about corsetry around the age of 18 or 19 when I was getting more into anime, manga and cosplay. It was at that point that I made my first Victorian corset and started "waist training" in a sense. My naturally ridiculously long hair and small waist made accurate cosplay very easy for me.
|This photograph was accompanied with the following text:|
"I unfortunately haven't been figured out how to make a
sarcastic face and a duck face simultaneously."
Once I purchased my first custom-fit waist training corset around 2 years ago, very early on in my training, I was impatient and I tried to tighten the corset as much as I could and wear it as long as I possibly good, simply trying to "bear up" when it became painful. That was a terrible idea - not only did it cause discomfort that prevented me from training for weeks after that incident, but I also became discouraged and formed a negative attitude around corseting.
After that, I purchased the book "Corset Magic" by Ann Grogan and followed the "rollercoaster method" explained in that book - the basic outline for that training process is to pick an initial reduction (say a corseted measurement of 24") and over a number of weeks, staying at that measurement but slowly working up the number of hours until you're comfortably able to wear your corset at that reduction all day. Once that occurs, then you may further reduce your waist (say, to 23.5") but then drop the number of hours worn at that reduction, once again working your way up to wearing it all day. I've found this method makes the most sense to me.
Kitty: One last question, and I'm desperate to know the answer: Your HAIR. How do you manage to look after so much lovely hair - or end up with that much of it?! I have a thick head of hair, but I've taken the "I can do what I want with it, I'll just wear a wig if it falls out" approach.
|Please, PLEASE click to view larger.|
Lucy: Being able to grow long hair is very easy for both women and men in my family - even my cousins with extremely curly hair (remember the African lineage) have been able to grow their hair easily halfway down their backs and longer. I'm very fortunate to have loose curls in my hair so I haven't had to chemically straighten my hair and I very rarely use heat on it (I'll flat-iron it maybe a couple times a year) - I simply put it up in a protective hairstyle like a bun or a braid, and it keeps my hair out of the way. When I take my hair down, it will end up fairly straight or with some nice waves.
People ask me all the time what kinds of products I use for my hair, but I will always say the same thing - which shampoo you use will be absolutely useless if you don't first START with healthy hair, and that comes from eating healthy and taking care of your body. There are no shortcuts in this respect.
|Tibby, helping with, and not at all hindering, corset surgery.|
And there we have it! Thanks so much to Lucy for letting me interview her. She is honestly one of the greatest and most lovely people, and I can't resist trying to spread her knowledge around the place. Her youtube is here, facebook here and her blog is here. She does make corsets, too, the info is on her blog. Her beautiful photographs were used with permission!
PS: the batcats are go