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Susi's design picked by Kylie for her Christmas album cover

Susi Henson tutors fashion design students part-time; she also runs Eternal Spirits, the designer corsetry brand she started in 2002. Her latest celebrity client, Kylie Minogue, has launched her new album dressed in one of Susi's bespoke designs.

Susi Henson is an alumna of BA (Hons) Fashion Design who first discovered her love for corsetry, historical costume and printed textiles whilst studying for her Masters degree in Fashion and Textiles at NTU in 2002.

She was so determined to pursue this design specialism that she set up her own business, Eternal Spirits , within a week of completing her MA course; the aim was to create beautiful designs using traditional Victorian corsetry methods and top quality fabrics, a skill in short supply in the UK. She also wanted to stay true to her local Nottingham roots and prides herself in the fact that all of her garments are made for women, by women in her city-based studios, with a healthy measure of good old-fashioned customer service.

Thirteen years later, Susi's Eternal Spirits brand now has a worldwide presence through a network of specialist boutique stockists, with a glamorous celebrity clientele spanning the likes of female bands and singers Girls Aloud, The Saturdays, Leona Lewis, The Scissor Sisters, Courtney Love and Britney Spears.

Earlier this year, a celebrity stylist who had previously worked with Susi's garments, contacted her to commission two special garments at short notice for international pop singer Kylie Minogue. With just a week to develop the garments, and no chance to do any bespoke fittings, Susi was asked to supply the corsets for use in a photoshoot to promote Kylie's 2015 Christmas album. Adding the final touch of personally embroidered labels for Kylie, Susi sent the finished items off to the stylist and waited for feedback.

Thankfully, Susi's garments were a perfect fit; in fact Kylie liked them so much that she decided to use the image of her wearing one made from red velvet on the front cover of her album, instead of on the CD booklet as had originally been planned. Susi has since been commissioned to design matching corsets for Kylie's dancers for her live shows and appearances during the Christmas period, including a slot on The X Factor.

Talking about the design process for this special order, Susi explained: "Making the corsets for use in dance performance brings an extra challenge. The corsets I make are usually rigid, as they are designed to put curves into all the right places with steel boning. I had to modify the designs for stage using specially adapted panels. Everything had to be sent over to Australia for approval, so I couldn't do any fit sessions, but thankfully they fitted and everyone is really pleased with the outcome.

"It's all been a bit of a whirlwind and I'm really looking forward to seeing the garments on stage."

See more of Susi's work.

Susi's design picked by Kylie for her Christmas album cover

Published on 4 December 2015
  • Category: School of Art & Design

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