My name is Gemma Moss and I am fascinated with the history of Costume. My love of costume began from seeing films such as Amadeus and Titanic.
The main garment that I was always fixated on was the corset. I was totally inspired by this undergarment that could curve and alter the female form to fit to the fashion ideal of the day. Since I was 13 years old I always wanted to understand the garment and its construction. I bought my first corset when I was 16 still not knowing how one was put together. I went to university at 18 to study fashion design, which I feel was a mistake and I should of studied Costume Design. There was no possibility at the time for me to learn how to make real genuine Corsets at the time with the fashion course.
In the second year we had to do work experience. I decided to work for a corset company. I would ask questions and they were really afraid to let go of their trade secrets. I did learnt how the fabrics and materials are put together but not how to make a corset tailor made to the body. It wasn’t until I did my work experience at Tamworth Castle that I met historical costume designer Gini Newton from Chimera Costumes who really took the time to show me the construction from the very start. When I would see her at the castle we would discuss the things that I were so eager to learn and gave me titles of fabulous books I should check out! I also went and visited another corset designer who gave me more tips and I put all the advice and knowledge together to make my very first (poorly made) corset!!
After making the first corset I continued to try new things and keep working on them to perfect the new skill I had learned.