With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty.
If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed, and blessed, and the work goes on.
— William Morris
Sara Homeshaw - 1608 Morgana mid min eth leav 3.jpg

OCOC’19

For OCOC’19, we have put together a technical programme which bridges history, fashion and costume. We are delighted to announce two new presenters. Luca Costigliogo of The School of Historical Dress, will be presenting his research on patterning stays along with a practical workshop. Antony Ladd Canney, whose celebrity clients include Drag Queen Violet Chachki and Burlesque Queen Dita von Teese, will be talking about male corsetry. In addition we have Autumn Adamme of Dark Garden (long celebrity client list!) making a return, along with Stephanie Selmayr of Past Pleasures who will be bringing more of her incredible antique corsetry collection for us all to study. We have other unannounced speakers so please stay tuned for further news! In the meantime, you can purchase tickets right here.

The goal of the conference is to promote excellence and innovation in corsetry within a supportive and fun atmosphere. There is no limits of level, you can be an absolute beginner or a seasoned pro. There is something for everyone at every stage.

We get going on the morning of Saturday 24th August and finish up late afternoon on Sunday 25th August 2017.

At the Conference, in between presentations, you'll be able to show and tell your work and get a good look at everyone else’s (and maybe a try on too!). On the Saturday night there will be a drinks reception "Oxford Style" on the Quad followed by a formal dinner in Hall with entertainment. The price includes all of this, accommodation, and other meals and refreshments. 

We are now several years in with even more exciting plans for the future. There are so many wonderful topics to cover... topics that are hard to find help on anywhere else.

And that city with her dreaming spires, she needs not June for beauty’s heightening.
— Matthew Arnold

Our venue

Historical Oxford has seen many illustrious and acclaimed names over the centuries. Now it's playing host to the cream of contemporary corsetieres and also inspiring the next generation.

JESUS COLLEGE

JESUS COLLEGE

For 2019 we return as ever to our spiritual home, Jesus College, which is right in the centre of Oxford. Of the 39 colleges and halls in Oxford, Jesus is one of the smaller ones, founded by Elizabeth I and contained within 3 small quods, it's impressive but not intimidating, very friendly and very beautiful, with most of the buildings dating from the 16th and 17th centuries.. 

Accommodation is within the college. The rooms are well kept, have all you need and most look out on the quads. Meals are provided and taken in the hall, which is one of the oldest parts of the college. We also have access to other beautiful parts of the college for our photoshoots and reception. There is a bar on site too for the Saturday night. All the teaching takes place in the full equipped conference and study rooms, with all facilities to hand and regular doses of tea and coffee.

JESUS COLLEGE

JESUS COLLEGE

During the Conference, you will have everything you need right within the walls of Jesus, and this creates a wonderful secluded atmosphere, and also a very safe and secure one. But if you need to pop out of the corsetry rabbit-hole for anything then the centre of the city of Oxford is only a street away  (it's easy to forget it's there at times).  Also we have the assistance of the wonderful College staff who are there to help with anything, as well as making sure we are well fed and cared for.


Past years

2013 - Beginnings
We have grown and expanded since our inaugural year, 2013. It was a resounding success. With workshops and talks on draping, bust fitting, fashion illustration and an embellishment bar. Photoshoots and our after dinner speaker Ian Frazer Wallace and his companion Polly Fey. It was a great start, with more to come. 

Photo credit: caroline woollin

Photo credit: caroline woollin

2014 - Of Birds and Autumn
In 2014 we got to grips with design basics, pattern blocks and grading, and heard all about Sparklewren's bird's wing design. Our special guest was the amazing and inspirational Autumn Adamme of Dark Garden corsetry, the Godmother of Modern Corsetry and one of the most experiencd and well known corsetieres in the world.

Immodesty Blaize performing at OCOC 2015

Immodesty Blaize performing at OCOC 2015

2015 - Number 3
We knew it was going to be a good year from the start when we got confirmation from Barbara Pesendorfer of Royal Black Couture and Corsetry who gave a fascinating talk involving unconventional and downright futuristic materials. We also had Autumn Adamme back, this time to hold a workshop on pattern matching. And, Ian Frazer Wallace of the Whitechapel Workhouse also came along to go over integral corsetry.  We also had the lowdown on SEO from Fiona Pullen and an up close view of Stephanie Selmayr's (Past Pleasures) fabulous collection of antiques.

Mr Pearl
We were beyond thrilled to be able to host a Q&A session with the incomparable Mr Pearl, a man whom it is every corset maker and enthusiasts dream to meet.  He gave us a fascinating insight into the world of couture, with some fascinating tales of a world most of will only ever see from a distance. 

And a Dose of Glamour
To top it all, we were wowsed by an exclusive performance and moved by an amazing after dinner talk from Immodesty Blaize! Who wowed us in a gown made by the Whitechapel Workhouse, encrusted with crystals supplied by Preciosa and feathers from Fancy Feathers. All held up with boning from Sew Curvy.A dele

In addition to the main conference, the 'fringe' events expanded this year too. The delegates have had a pre conference dinner every year, but this year it expanded to afternoon tea, and cocktails as many attendees arrive a few days before the conference and make the most of the trip and catching up with old friends and getting to know new ones. We kicked off with a little tea party in the Sew Curvy Cottage, then wound up with an after party in a pub with fabulous pizza. It's lovely to see everyone make a proper holiday of it. 

2016
We've had a year off due to renovations within the college and it was decided at that point that we should go bi-ennual. With the event every 2 years, we have time to plan great programmes whilst giving everyone time to plan and save for the event.

2017

OCOC’17 was a really wonderful conference with presentations from Barbara Pesendorfer of Royal Black Couture and Corsetry, Laurie Tavan, Marianne Faulkner of Dark Garden/Pop Antique, and Cathering Clavering of Kiss Me Deadly. There was the usual abundance of networking opportunities friendships forged, models modelling and more.

To see what else goes on, have a look at pictures from previous years here.

photo credit: beth moddy

photo credit: beth moddy

A man who uses his hands is a labourer.
One who uses his hands and mind is a craftsman.
But he who uses his hands, his mind, and his heart, is an artist.
— St Francis of Assisi

BANNER IMAGE CREDIT: Corset by Emma Watling modelled by Miss Deadly Red Copyright Chris Murray 2017