Wolf Clothing is a Gothic name brand based in Cape Town South Africa. It was started in 1998 by Mark and Helna Williams with only small, private jobs. In 1999 they opened a stall at the Green Market square in Town with another gothic design label called Nightshade. Later Nightshade moved to London and Wolf manned the stall themselves for the next 6 years. In 2005 Wolf moved away from the market and began to trade at a nightclub in Observatory - The One Ring (which has unfortunately since closed down), as well as a music shop called Subterania. In the following two years their popularity grew and they were able to focus their attention on their designing and production by setting up a studio in their own home.<br />Mark and Helna Williams are a couple who are extremely dedicated and influential in the Gothic culture in Cape Town. Not only do they design and make clothing, but their talents include accessories too. They have also been involved in the making and producing of festivals and band sponsorships along with fashion theatre (a term they themselves have coined for a fashion show that goes beyond the mere showing off of clothing. Fashion theatre is when a story is acted out by the models and the entire show is explosive/dramatic and extravagant while at the same time geared for showing off the clothing).<br />
Wolf Clothing make a wide variety of different types of gothic couture. Some of the things that they make are corsets, waistpinchers, coats, cloaks, mesh tops (it is believed that they are the only company making mesh tops in Cape Town), skirts and dresses amoung other things. The materials that can be seen most often in their designs are pvc, leather, pleather satin, mesh and lace.<br />Not only does Wolf make clothing, they also make various accessories. <br />The one thing that Wolf prides themselves on is the fact that no two designs are the same. There will be similarities sure, but never the same. It is my opinion that this is what sets Wolf apart as a fashion label and makes them so sought after. When I think back to walking the streets of Camden Town, the thing that I missed was the originality. The word that sprang to mind was mass production. This is a generalisation to a degree, but I missed the knowledge that what I was buying was a one of a kind. <br />
Waistpincher with skirt<br />Waistpincher with pants<br />
There are so many different styles of corsets. The reason for this is that there are so many variables to play with. Variables like the number of panels in a corset, the width of the panels, the overall length of the corset (how far down the hips it goes and whether it is this length the whole time), the top of the corset (peaked, squared or sweetheart to name a few) and of course there is the detail on the corset to consider. Another very important aspect of a corset it how it is done up at the back. <br />Wolfs corsets are boned which allows the corset to mould to ones body and give a beautiful figure to the woman. In most cases, the only way to get in and out of a corset is to lace and unlace the back which is time consuming. This is why Wolf has incorporated a zip into the front of many of their corsets. At one stage they put the zip at the side of the corset but this was discontinued as it was uncomfortable to have the zip under the arm and also it made putting boning on this side difficult. <br />
How to make a corset – direct from kimberlypope.com<br />HORIZONTAL MEASUREMENTS (in pink)Take all your measurements shown in the diagram, (1) - (2) (the front of body is usually slightly wider than the back so do them separately and add them together after so that you have an overall calculation as well as the two half's)... (2) - (3) and repeat at (a) (b) and(c). Lastly measure along from (1) to (5).<br />VERTICAL MEASUREMENTS (in green and blue)Now measure down from (6) down to (5) (this should be a length that you feel would happily cover your nipple, you can be as risqué as you like or cover yourself modestly unless of course you decide to adapt this to make an underbust corset!) then (1) down to (1a) down to (1b) down to (1c)<br />
DRAUGHTING YOUR BASIC PATTERNDraw a box that is as wide as your total hip measurement and tall as the centre, from the hip to the overbust line add in all your other horizontal measurements and lastly your vertical side line.<br />A happy cinch on a corset is 4 inches, seeing as you are working on one half of the pattern you need to subtract 2 inches from your waist measurement.<br />You have to make a decision on how many panels you want in your corset, for the sakes of this example we will have 5 divisions(this will make 6 panels, 12 on the final corset).<br />DEDUCTING THE WAIST and UNDERBUST<br />As an example here is a calculation based on a fake figure:OVERBUST - T” wideCENTRE BUST - W" wideUNDERBUST - V" wideWAIST - X" (minus an extra 2") wideHIPS - Y" wide So in simpler terms...Hip Y” minus waist X” minus 2” = U” (take U” ÷ 5) = Z”deduct each Z” at each vertical line on the waist and underbust, overbust etc...Hip Y” minus underbust V” = U” (take U” and ÷ 5) = Z”Hip Y” minus centrebust W” = U” (take U” and ÷ 5) = Z”Hip Y” minus overbust T” = U” (take U” and ÷ 5) = Z”<br />
DRAUGHTING PANELSNUMBER EVERY PANEL on your draught 1 - 6 front to back and number every layer of fabric... 1-6R and 1-6L for each side of the corset to save any heartache or confusion!<br />Taking your basic pattern layout and divide this up with vertical lines x 5, it's sometimes helpful to make the front panel (1) slightly narrower and your back panel (6) slightly wider so that you can make larger reduction if needed for cinching (remember corsets need to have a 3-4 inch gap at the back for tightening!). This doesn't have to be an exact science, just go with your natural instinct. <br />Repeat the calculation for the underbust line and also the centre breast/underarm line, you will be left with a 'join the dots' image where you now connect the dots with a ruler creating what look like darts at each vertical line.At this point you can start to soften the ruler lines with hand drawn curves. <br />Now the last bit is dealing with the overbust line, as this will be narrower than the centre breast line and you will have to use reduction only on the vertical lines 1 and 2 around the boob and not on the back half, you can double check your newly drawn back panel widths against your original body measurements (for the back).Lastly create 2 strips x2 (with all the layers of fabric) at the same length as the front and the back centre line about 4-6 inches wide, this will be your facing for the busk and eyelets<br />
CORSET OUTLINE TOP AND BOTTOM<br />TOP LINEStart at the centre front underarm line, curve up to the nipple/overbust line back down to the underarm line and you can either go straight across the back or curve back up a little if you want more support on your back. See grey dotted line on diagram.<br />BOTTOM LINEAll you need to do for this is curve up from the centre front line a couple of inches toward the side line and back down again to the centre back. See grey dotted line on diagram.<br />Now you have a basic corset pattern <br />http://www.kimberleypope.com/how_to_make_a_corset/opening_page.html<br />
There are many different types of goths in the gothic culture and it is my opinion that this is where what influences Wolfs designs. A few different styles are : Faerygoths, fetishists, glam goths, gutter goths, gravers, romanti-goths, rivetheads and many many more. There is even the notgoths.<br />It is quite common for a goth to follow more than one particular style,.<br />Each of these “types of goth” have their own unique style and Wolf caters to each and every one of them. <br />Faerygoth<br />Fetishist<br />Romantigoth<br />
Wolf also makes accessories. The accessories are mostly made from leather and incorporate metal like stainless steel. The main items that they make are chokers and cuffs. The cuffs often include numerous spikes as does some of the chokers. The chokers also delve into the dominatrix side of things by having a loop that one can attach a leash to.<br />What I love about accessories that Wolf makes is that often it becomes an art form. There are articles that go beyond adornment and they become what I would describe them to be, statement pieces. <br />
The reason why I am so passionate about Wolf Clothing is that they have done what I would love to be able to one day do... I see them as inspiration and would like to one day be where they are.<br />In Cape Town alone, I know of one, maybe two alternative jewellery designers. This means that the majority of gothic jewellery is imported (namely from the UK – alchemy). The problem is with importation is that the price becomes ridiculously high, especially for a teenager who has no source of income. <br />In essence, it is my dream to produce gothic jewellery locally and provide the South African market with handmade, unique and ultimately cheaper jewellery for anyone to enjoy<br />
Bibliography:<br />www.wolfclothing.co.za<br />www.kimberlypope.com<br />http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_5529604660&ap=1<br />http://www.facebook.com/CountRizla<br />Goth craft – the magickal side of dark culture by Raven Digitalis<br />
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