OCOC 2017 Programme

We have many exciting presentations planned for 2017, the theme being Design your corset, Design your business.  From the very beginnings of design inspiration to how to market your brand, we'll be taking you through the process.  Of course, this isn't only for corset makers who want to make a business from their craft.  There will be lots of practical workshops for those wishing to hone their skills and learn new things.  Here's a run down of what's planned right now, but there are more guests to confirm - we'll be adding more as we go on.

Design your corset

Barbara Pesendorfer - Royal Black Corsetry and Couture

Barbara is returning to OCOC for a second year.  Her presentation will focus on her innovative approach to corset design and she will be presenting a session which explains her creative process from beginning to end including a step by step guide on how her stunning couture designs go from idea to reality.

Barbara will walk you through all aspects of her creative process on a single project; from how she finds inspiration and develops her ideas to creating a pattern, through the toile stage to the final design.  Touching on last year's presentation on inventive and futuristic materials, she will cover how she researches those materials and new techniques.  Attendees will have a deep insight into how Barbara works and will be inspired to try new techniques and ideas to take their own work forward.

the Silver thistle outfit by royal black corsetry and couture uses many different techniques and materials.  Find out how barbara creates outfits like these at ococ16.

the Silver thistle outfit by royal black corsetry and couture uses many different techniques and materials.  Find out how barbara creates outfits like these at ococ16.

Laurie Tavan - Laurie Tavan, formerly Daze of Laur

The corsets of Laurie Tavan are a demonstration of how skill, experience, precision, artistry, design and innovation come together to form exquisite work which is constantly inspiring. Laurie's corsetry has always been rooted in the historical but she has become an expert in fusing antique and modern design ideas to create enchantingly beautiful fashion corsetry. We are super excited to announce that Laurie will be one of the presenters at OCOC17. She will be leading some practical workshops on corsetry which will be design focussed with lots of practical techniques thrown in.  

Laurie will lead a practical workshop on corsetry, demonstrating different historically inspired silhouettes, including exploration of the use of unusual combinations of fabrics, hardware, and supplies to transform these historical ideals into something new and fresh.  We will see the progress and choices made along the way in one of her recent projects from start to finish.

She will provide opportunities to handle different widths and thicknesses of synthetic whalebone and to examine corsets and samples made with alternative fabrics, construction techniques, and boning. Laurie will have an open discussion of the nuances of controlling the cut of the pattern, construction techniques, placement of positive and negative ease, and fabric selection that allows one to achieve specific results that give a modern flare to historically inspired designs.

Marianne Faulkner - Pop Antique / Dark Garden

We are delighted that Marianne Faulkner of Pop Antique will be returning to Oxford as a presenter to talk about fashion illustration and how developing a personal style within that medium is an important part of your branding programme - not only will she be teaching us how to draw proper fashion croquis with your own aesthetic, but she will also be taking us on a journey, showcasing the work of professional illustrators and designers with strong illustration skills.

Illustration is a key communication skill to help your clients visualize alongside you. Often, clients can get thrown by photography, fixating on small details such as color choice – and photographs are useless for showcasing new design concepts. A strong sketch can snare a client, particularly if your emphasis is on one-of-a-kind pieces and custom embellishment.

Having sketching skills also means you can record your ideas when inspiration strikes. If you get inspired on the metro or while watching a film, tack down your ideas as they come, then refine them later. A sketch can be much more than a croquis – you can use illustration to map your construction process for unusual designs, sketching and annotating flat pattern pieces for seam allowance, seam type, construction order, and finishing methods.

Lastly, just as you have a house aesthetic for your finished pieces, you can develop a personal style as an illustrator as part of your branding programme. From proportions to poses, line quality to eye shapes, and of course, rendering, use your croquis to further your brand vision. Marianne will showcase the work of both professional illustrators and designers with strong design skills to inspire you.

CAD Drawing by Caroline Woolin

Computer-aided design (CAD) software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve the quality of design, improve communications through documentation, and to create a database for manufacturing.

Veteran Conference attendee Caroline Woolin was inspired in year 2 of OCOC to try using CAD to draft standard sized corset patterns for commercial use - her ideas worked and she now sells custom patterns created with CAD via her website and Etsy shop

Caroline has perfected a corset drafting technique in a free CAD software programme available to all, and is coming to OCOC16 to show delegates how they too can draft any corset pattern in CAD to any set of measurements and grade those patterns to different sizes using the software.

This gives the corset maker a whole new arsenal of tools.  Not only can you draft patterns for sale to other corset makers, but you can draft a set of patterns in standard sizes ready for quick use and possible manufacture in many sizes.

In addition, Caroline has discovered easy ways to translate antique patterns from google patents into full size, mulit-sized patterns.  Caroline will be giving an overview of the process at OCOC and then more detailed instructions to smaller groups throughout the weekend.  All you need to do is bring your own laptop!

Learn how to create a graded digital corset pattern from any set of measurements from drawing, antique patent or from your own patterns.

Draping Masterclass with Gerry Quinton

While Caroline will demonstrate how to flat pattern a corset with CAD, Gerry will lead workshops on how to develop corset patterns using traditional draping techniques as used in the fashion industry.  These techniques, with time and practice will give designers enough knowledge to go forward and create an infinite number of exciting and complex corset patterns.  This workshop was so popular in 2013 and totally re-configured the way that some people work, that we thought we would re-visit it as a complementary addition to this year's design programme.

Design your business

Branding your product by Catherine Clavering - Kiss Me Deadly

Catherine Clavering is the founder and owner of British lingerie brand Kiss Me Deadly. Established in 2006, when Catherine changed career from psychologist, to lingerie designer, her retro style designs are inspired by fashions of the 40s and 50s with a twist of noir. Over the years, Kiss Me Deadly has become a regular in the UK’s top fashion and style press and has won several prestigious awards including the publicly-voted "Favourite British Designer" award at the 2012 UK Lingerie Awards.

Catherine’s strong and distinctive branding has been a major contributor to the success of her company and so we are ridiculously excited to announce that Catherine will be joining us at OCOC17 to talk about branding for small businesses - how to establish your presence in a competitive market with a distinctive and unique style of your own


Marketing for Small Businesses by Colin Gilchrist - The Social Tailor

Colin Gilchrist, runs Edinburgh based creative marketing company, The Social Tailor. He has 15 years digital and social media marketing experience, driving projects as a marketing consultant for organisations in biosciences, charity and fashion retail. He is also the Creative Director for women’s wear brand Spencer Clothing, working with brands that have included Burberry, Paul Smith, Valentino and spending time in Las Vegas with Zappos.com his knowledge of fashion, marketing and eCommerce is extensive.

We are beyond thrilled to announce that Colin will be joining us for OCOC'17 to talk about Marketing for small businesses

OTHER SPECIAL GUESTS TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON!