“Arwen Garmentry uses a fusion of old world and cutting edge techniques and influences to create clothing and corsetry that is edgy and entirely modern while retaining a unique elegance.”
I drove up onto the Parkhurst driveway and was met by an incredibly alluring wall that got my heart racing and pulse quickening as it dawned on me that I was entering a world that usually intimidates me due to my limited knowledge of culture and art. I have not been blogging for very long but when I paged through the latest Woman and Home magazine, I came across an almost ethereal silver haired model that caught my eye and I knew I wanted to write a post and experience this exquisite woman first hand. Arwen Swan of Arwen Garmentry is a local corsetiere originally from East London. Arwan left behind a career in graphic design to pursue her dream to work in fashion. A self-taught sewer and corsetiere who encapsulates true beauty and art in the form of cutting edge couture garments, corsets, custom made pieces and bridal wear.
I have always loved the idea of corsets and in fact, my wedding gown has a built in corset. I love the era that these beautiful pieces stem from and I am not ashamed to admit that one of my favorite films is Titanic, not because of Leo as many would believe but rather because of the elegance and beauty that is reflected in the on screen apparel.
Arwan Garmentry are no stranger to the media , I probably should not have looked at all the media Arwan Garmentry has been featured in because now I feel awfully inexperienced and overwhelmed by the task that lies ahead of me. To try to capture in words, an experience that tantalized and teased my inner creativity and enveloped me with textures and adventure, I am worried my writing will not do justice to this exquisite experience. As I explained to Arwan, I write to remember my experiences on my blog and what an experience this journey has been so far.
Arwan’s home, store, factory and place of business is effervescing with antique, unique pieces of furniture infused with love and style, surrounded by 36 birds that for some reason brings Alice in Wonderland to mind. Just visiting the store and being welcomed into this wonderful space was an adventure like none other. I had no intention of purchasing a garment as I have a limited budget but once I sat down on the original 19 something dentistry chair enveloped in the soft light of the refurbished dentistry X-Ray machine above; I very soon realised I could not wait another second to discover the beauty of owning my very own corset. My very own “big hug all over” that will make me a better version of myself as Arwan describes.
What many of us today think are corsets are indeed not corsets at all but are rather lingerie and as Arwan explained, a corset is a specialised item that takes superb artisanship to create as well as extensive anatomical knowledge. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have a large bust line and apple shaped figure and so the idea that a garment can be made to help lift my bosom and smooth my lines while offering comfortable support and help with my posture seems almost too good to be true but that is exactly what one can expect from a well made corset. I am proud of my curves and can’t wait to feel the femininity, elegance and poise that comes with wearing such a truly awesome undergarment.
I eagerly signed the waiver form and assured Arwen that I have no internal medical issues that may be exacerbated by the corset and Arwen then measured me for my fitting next week and we chose the colour that best suits my skin tone. I fear that my photographs do not do justice to this incredible place and so I have shared with you the link to the Arwen Garmentry Pinterest board, which of course I’m following now as well. Seriously, take a look at the Pinterest board and you will get a much better idea of how incredible the work is that Arwen Garmentry do.
I will hopefully have some more professional photographs to share after my fitting next week and will then write about the big reveal which I will be wearing an original dress from Elegance Appeal over my new custom made Merry Widow sweetheart corset from Arwen Garmentry to the most fitting event of all, the Queen of Ballet on the 12 April.
Some may wrongly think that a starting price of R1500 is expensive for an undergarment but don’t take my word for it, come and experience this for yourself and you will see that this is truly an investment garment that I fear I may just become an addict of. If for nothing else, come and enjoy a visual adventure whilst sipping on the best cappuccino you will ever have (if made by Ben) from an original La San Marco Type 80 coffee machine while relaxing in a period piece dentistry chair.
Both Arwen Garmentry and Elegance Appeal will be displaying their work at the Face Value #WithMyGirls event on the 10 May and this would be the perfect time for you to interact with these incredibly talented people and let them answer all your questions you may have. I must warn you though; you may very well fall in love in which case I suggest you start saving now, you won’t regret it.
Till next time
Stay Elegant and Gorgeous