An award-winning designer from the internationally renowned Castle Corsetry, Lauren has designed and built hundreds of corsets in all varieties as well as many custom costume orders specializing in impeccable cosplay recreations. Seen all over the world in the convention circuit, web content left and right, and celebrity clientele, you have assuredly seen Lauren’s handiwork. As a geeky girl herself, Lauren’s enthusiasm is what sets her apart, with dedication and attention to detail making her designs truly exceptional. There isn’t a finer, quirkier costumer around.
How did you first get into costuming?
“I’ve always been a nerd. So every year for Halloween, I wanted to dress up as my favorite character at that time. So my mom and I would go out of our way to make an amazing costume that all my friends were jealous of. Dress up was one of my favorite activities as a kid, and it hasn’t stopped as an adult. I’ve always had a very active imagination and I loved to dress up and pretend that I was from some other world or magical realm.”
What is your favorite type of garment to make?
“Corsets are my signature item, and they’re my favorite to make! I’ve been able to really perfect the art and the style of what I create and the quality of what you’ll get from my store is seldom matched.”
How does it feel when you see your garments used in cosplays?
“It makes me so proud to see my different looks on amazing cosplayers and be part of bringing pop culture’s favorite characters into reality! Also, getting to see how everyone styles my corsets differently is such a treat! Cosplayers can be so creative!”
Do you ever cosplay yourself? If so, what cosplays have you done?
“I really started doing cosplay after attending San Diego Comic Con in my first Star Wars corset in 2010. After having so much fun dressing up in that, I decided for the next year I would make a full costume to wear. With my friends and I in costumes that I had made, we kept getting asked where to get them, which is how my costume making business erupted.
My all time favorite costume that I have created was Winifred Sanderson from Hocus Pocus. It was a crazy costume to make and by far one of the hardest, but also the one that I am most proud of. It took me two months of nearly nonstop work to complete it. But I learned so many new skills and techniques that it truly is my pride and joy. It doesn’t hurt that I also enjoy snarling at small children while I wear it.”
What is your favorite genre of cosplay (i.e. steampunk, anime, comic, TV/movie, etc)?
“I love comic books because I really like the bright colors and how unrealistic a lot of them can be since the characters have super powers and other super-human traits. I feel like in many super hero movies they make the costumes too realistic when part of the reason we love them so much is the escape from reality.”
How did you learn garment construction/sewing?
“I have an Associate of Arts in Fashion Design. I went to school at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. But I already went in with a pretty good base knowledge. My mom taught me to sew with I was six, and I’ve been making and designing things for most of my life.”
What kinds of geeky things do you enjoy doing in your off time?
“Going to the movies is one of my favorite pastimes. I love sitting down in the theater and escaping from daily life for 2-3 hours. But I also enjoy reading fantasy novels.”
Name three things you feel are essential to any cosplayer or costumer’s closet or workspace.
“1. A plain black corset. I may be biased about corsets, but I really think that a good black corset is unparalleled in its usefulness for cosplay. There are so many cosplays that use corsets as a base, that to have a well made black corset is essential. 2. A good sewing machine. I can’t tell you how many cosplayers I know use cheap sewing machines from Jo-Ann fabrics or the like ($200 or less)… I know not everyone is made of money, but if you’re going to make this a profession or hobby, you really need to invest in a decent machine. I’m partial to Husqvarna (a good starter machine is the Emerald 118, which runs around $400). Also, if you’re looking to do spandex and superhero costumes you NEED a serger/ overlock machine. The zigzag stitch on a regular machine just does not cut it! 3.Lessons! I learned way more working on the job or from friends who were more knowledgeable than I than I ever did in school, and I have a degree in fashion design! Surrounding yourself with friends who are more knowledgeable than you will only hone your skills further.”