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Meet Lauren Matesic of Castle Corsetry in Glassell Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Matesic.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lauren. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It began when her mom taught her to sew at age six. Now, Lauren Matesic of Castle Corsetry has been an award-winning designer for the past decade. After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and training at Farthingales Corsets, Lauren broke through as a designer for the world-famous Trashy Lingerie. There, she designed custom corset and costume orders for superstars such as Kim Kardashian, Julianne Hough, Holly Madison, and Rose McGowan, as well as some pieces for major award shows.

Since launching Castle Corsetry in 2009, Lauren has designed and built hundreds of corsets ranging from compact waist cinchers to full fledged waist-trainers in all materials from silk to leather and everything in between. Though she does create classic corsets, Lauren’s most popular designs are her pop-culture corsets featuring geek inspired designs from the nerd world’s favorite fandoms.

In addition to her corsetry work, Lauren has designed and manufactured many custom costume orders, including her specialty in expertly tailored superhero suits. There’s nothing Lauren can’t do with fabrics, whether you need miniature costumes for puppets with her business partner at Fonco, to elaborate couture items for masquerade balls and weddings. Executing dozens of commissions for every major convention across the country, she has now made a name for herself in the cosplay world. You can see some of her designs on geek-culture celebrities like Team Unicorn, Ivy Doomkitty and Adrianne Curry!

There’s no project beyond her skill and no design beyond her imagination. As a geeky girl herself, Lauren’s enthusiasm for her work is what sets her apart. Her dedication and attention to detail makes her designs truly exceptional. There isn’t a finer, quirkier costume designer around.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Running a small business is never a smooth road, especially in Los Angeles. With overhead costs being what they are in this town, every month is a bit of a struggle. I started off as an Etsy shop working from a home office and have since graduated to a larger studio spaced housed within a small independent production studio, Fonco Studios. Castle Corsetry runs the wardrobe department at the studio, but we also take on our own freelance projects from all over the world.

In a city full of big media companies and film studios, it’s hard to catch the notice of clients when we’re small potatoes by comparison. But those who do come to us end up coming back, time and again, for the quality and attention to detail!

Castle Corsetry – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
While Castle Corsetry is known for corset-making, I’ve expanded my skills over the years to include full historical costume construction, superhero suits, puppets, miniatures, and full creature mascot costumes. I’ve even had to upholster unique furniture, including a puppet couch and a dragon-shaped couch! Basically, if it’s made from fabric, we can make it!

I love taking on the *weird* commissions, like the couch projects. It’s super fun to be challenged with a new medium and figuring out how to make it happen! I definitely don’t get as excited for run-of-the-mill jobs. For instance, during the Covid-19 quarantine, many seamstress friends have been making face masks for extra cash, but I decided that at Castle Corsetry, if we were going to make masks, they better be unique and interesting! We’re making masks covered in spikes as well as vintage-inspired oversized bow masks.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
The project that my mom taught me how to sew on was a quilt project. We took all my baby clothes and cut quilt squares from them to make a patchwork of my literal childhood – at least my baby and toddler years. I was six years old… already sewing before kindergarten!

Throughout my formative years, my sewing skills grew exponentially, graduating shortly after the quilt to baby doll clothes. My birthday is right around Halloween, so the next logical step in my seamstress journey was to start making my own super cool Halloween costumes. In high school, I had a history class project where I made a full rococo ball gown and it ended up winning a Simplicity Pattern Company contest when I was only 16. Fashion school was the only college choice for me, and I moved to LA when I was 18. The rest is history!

Pricing:

  • Custom corsets range from $150-500+, depending on the design, fabric choices, and style.
  • We try to keep our unique face masks as reasonably priced as possible, starting at $35.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Killer Cupcake Event Photography
ModelMosa
Joits
Erik Estrada
James Rulison
Alyssa Matesic

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