“I’m fascinated by the possibility of the manipulation of nature in the quest for beauty. It’s a kind of obsession. I’ve always been fascinated by gardening in the sense that trees can be trained into different shapes and I think that the body is a similar tool. It doesn’t happen overnight, although a corset can be donned on a very superficial level. But it also has another side to it which is a much deeper thing, understood I believe only by people who practice it. Because for as much explanation as you could possibly give, unless you really know what it feels like, it’s difficult to imagine. People are horrified by it on the one hand and fascinated by it on the other, by how it is humanly possible to be constricted. But in fact it’s a great comfort and extremely comfortable, if practiced correctly. Other people would disagree but I believe it is not harmful.”
Mr. Pearl is fashions most brilliant corsetier and an indismisable character. At the heart of the revival is Brighton-based South African corsetier to the couturiers, Mr Pearl, who has been creating fantastical dresses of his own as well as building tightlace corsets for Thierry Mugler, Chloe, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Christian Lacroix and Antonio Berardi, for almost 2 decades.
Mr Pearl is no ordinary fashion designer: for the last 11 years, this discreet, dedicated man has been literally living his work. As a result of eating, sleeping and working in a corset 24 hours a day (apart from in the bath), he has trained his waist to a staggeringly tiny 18 inches and modified the way he breathes and speaks. The king corsetier is himself a sensational living demonstration of the power of this transformational garment