A small Halloween Treat for 2022. The mini-collection of two outfits are inspired by Halloween Queen's Lydia Deetz from the beloved Beetlejuice, and Nancy Downs of The Craft. Drawing on Lydia's Victorian gothic style, the dischelleved skirt from SS22 has been amped up with a longer length and some added tulle. And the matching corset uses the same tulle as a trim with a beautiful beaded lace that is hand-sewn onto the corsets. As usual all the fabrics and trims for the collection are deadstock, and I'm so pleased to have found these amazing fabrics without any added detriment to the planet. Outfit two draws on Nancy's more modern gothic style, playing on her love of PVC. We have a black deadstock PVC corset and lace-up skirt set. Very sexy, and all very witchy.
Trick or Treat!
Collection all designed, made, shot, and crafted in the studio by Cat.
For this years Spring/Summer offering I started by looking back to my university Pre-Collection from 2018. It included shapes and structure that have remained appealing to me; the ruffled and dishevelled skirts that were based upon Victorian undergarments have been something I've wanted to re-create as more affordable daywear for some time. So the black & white cotton skirts you see are a staple I'm thrilled to introduce. Wearability is something I'm very conscious of. I'm always aware that I make silly clothes that are hard to put on... but I still want them to be pieces people are thrilled to own and wear. The Victorian undergarments theme continues (of course) through the bloomer jumpsuit, a piece that can be worn as a wide legged jumpsuit, or or tied up to be a more traditional bloomer. Many of the pieces from the collection stemmed from these initial ideas and are based off historical undergarments and nightwear in some way. Hot Victorian Summer!
Of course the star of this collection is my darling cat Theodore who I've had immortalised by the wonderful illustrator and fellow UCA alumni Sally Mankee. As the centre of my universe and a true internet sensation, who wouldn't want to wear him on a t-shirt or corset. You will notice that a difference in this collection is it isn't very corset heavy. While I still adore the corsets and how fabulous they look, the Theodore Corset Top is the only one in this collection. I've never wanted Cat O'Brien to be a solely corset brand, and hopefully you love all the other pieces too!
As always, sustainability is the focus of all garments I make. All the fabrics are deadstock or vintage and secondhand. The red long sleeve dress is made from a vintage tablecloth, as is the extravagant Edwardian white lace nightgown. The pink tassel trim on the Theodore corset and upcycled shoes is vintage upholstery trim. And as usual all the beautiful linens and satins are deadstock from brands and factories that were discarding them. Anything printed has been done so mindfully with eco safe inks in the UK.
I could go on forever about this new output, but essentially this SS22 is about beautiful simple garments with Cat O'Brien twists that are wearable, sexy, and still stay true to the Victorian shapes I adore.
I hope you enjoy!
Huge thanks as always to all the wonderful people that helped this collection come together.
Models: Naz Toorabally & Milli Barot
Photographer: Emily Morgan
MUA: Lucia Hannam
Photography Assistant: Hafsah Mukadam
Fashion Assistant: Scout Macpherson
Studio Assistant: Gabriela Wyszynska
Jewellery: Ray Makes Things
Shoes: Upcycled by Cat O'Brien
Theodore Illustration: Sally Mankee
Leopard Print Illustration: Ashmita Bissessur