Louise Black and her amazing Victorian Anatomical ribcage corset

I’ve been watching Louise Black’s work for several years, and now I finally own a corset of hers!

Louise is an alternative clothing and accessories designer who makes gorgeous clothing and accessories with vintage, art deco, steampunk, avant garde and spooky flair.

Often using motifs such as skeletons and spines (which has endeared her to the goths), Louise has a fascination for curios and things dark and gloomy. She has made jewellery that incorporates doll parts, vintage lace, gems and beads for a dark Victorian circus carnival feel. The 20’s and 30’s feature heavily in her work, with touches of the Rococo period and Marie Antoinette thrown in for good measure. She truly has an eclectic (perhaps eccentric?) vision.

Louise taught herself how to sew using her grandmother’s old sewing machine, taking apart vintage garments and adding to them, to get a better feel for construction. Louise sold on Ebay and through message boards until opening her own online shop Dollflesh in 2001. After that came Eyespyeclectics (see some eye spy clothing here) and her etsy store, which has been running for over 2 years. She will also be selling selected pieces at Shrimpton Couture.

You may be familiar with this gorgeous Victorian Anatomical ribcage corset, which I have been watching since last year and almost bought last christmas. Alas, the striped silk fabric had run out by the time I came to order, and a sample of my own fabric I sent a while ago wasn’t suitable. I settled on the ivory raw silk corset, to show up the ribbon detailing by way of contrast.

The corset took a long time from order to arrival due to Louise’s commitments, but when it did arrive, it was exquisite. As to the reason for the delay – well, it was her TV debut.
Louise has long been known to peeps in the alternative fashion scene, but when she made it onto series 6 of Project Runway, her exposure really shot up. Being on the show meant that she had to put orders on hold for the duration, and she has been manically getting through the orders since the series ended. While her etsy store continues, Louise has said that she’s looking to put a small collection together next year.  It probably means that she will move more into couture work, and her corsets may well become collectors items.

Of course, some just had to copy her unique designs, didn’t they? Lip Service has a Gateway To Poetry bustier that, surprise, surprise, features a cameo on its front, edged in ribbon, just like Louise’s. There’s also a Skeleton Key dress in the Lost Velvet Empire line that uses this design feature. Their versions have dumbed down the original design, and while real fans will wait for the real thing, who knows what this blatant copying has done to Louise’s bottom line financially? Very uncool, Lip Service.

You can see her portfolio from the show here, which features her work from before PR, her inspirations, and her creations for the show. On the website also are videos of her episodes and her vid blogs.  Those of us in Australia will just have to wait til 2010 to catch series 6.

More on my outfit using the glorious corset in my next post. Stay tuned….


  1. THat corset is amazing and I'm quite, quite jealous!

  2. Louise Black is awesome! Congrats on your purchase.


  1. […] eine zeigt das bekannte “Anatomical Ribcage“-Bildchen, welches auch auf diversen Corsagen (z.B. auch bei dieser wundervollen Dame) und Kettenanhängern abgebildet ist. Das andere zeigt drei […]