Interview with Lascelles Symons - Bridal Outfit Tips from the Corset King

2012 Feb 1 - by Preeti
I spent an afternoon with the famous Corset King, Lascelles Symons, at his home on Pali Hill in Bandra this past fall. It was such a wonderful afternoon with a down to earth guy. Unassuming and relaxed, Symons talks as if we're old friends reuniting after decades lost at sea.

Known as the Corset King, Symons is truly the master of mixing corsets and Indian clothing. He's been perfecting the art of hand made corsets for a decade and his experience shows. Mr. Symons is enthusiastic but focused: he knows fashion.

Fine embroidery workmanship

He's a down to earth, homely friend. Yet, Lascelles is sharp as a needle and know great bridal fashion.

We have wonderful chat about his business, his family, and most importantly, his wedding line of clothes.

"Indian families keep money aside for their children's weddings. Even if the markets fall apart, the world still needs marriages," says Lascelles. There is always happiness when there is a wedding. And when there is a wedding, there are outfits. Lots of outfits.

Stunning green and gold corset

He told me that Indian brides are looking for so many outfits for different occasions for the wedding, but many don't have a clue when they begin their shopping process.

"So many brides come to me and they don't where to start. When they bring their mom, future mother in law, sister, it becomes even more confusing. The trick, really, is to focus on the bride, because as the designer, you're making the clothes to fit her."

And then what? Who pays? What do you need? What about changes? These are all things brides and families should know when custom ordering couture clothing.

White corset wedding gown

Lascelles shared seven great tips to know as a bride before you walk in the door of a designer and have him create your wedding trousseau:

1. What do you want? - What colors, what styles, shapes, forms, do you like? Do you want something classical and traditional or something modern, or a mix? Make a list of ideas and bring tear sheets to help explain exactly what you want.

2. How many outfits do you need to buy? - There is of course you, the bride, but also the bride's mom, sisters and anyone else. And what occasions do you need to buy for?

3. Talk budget - It is a touchy subject, but the budget will dictate where your fabrics will come from and how much work will be done on the outfit. And who's paying? Having a clear budget set for your outfits means your expense is fixed and you can focus on other tasks.

4. Be assertive - "Brides are already under a lot of pressure. But they should remember, it's their day. I make clothes for them and for them to love and wear," he says. If there are things you really want to have done, be clear and tell your designer. He/she will work with you.

5. Know what your family wants - Whoever is paying for the outfit should have some say in the outfit designing (unless they are are cool with anything). Easier said than done. That does not however give your family or in-laws carte blanche. Don't say at last minute, "oh by the way the outfit should be pink" to you the bride, or to your designer. Both of you will go mad.

6. Don't change opinions with the weather - Today you want pink, tomorrow you want purple, and next week you want paisleys on blue. Your gut instincts are the right one for you. Don't keep fliping magazines or taking opinions and changing your outfit style on that. You will not only drive yourself crazy, but the designer as well. And the final product may result in hideous Jekyll and Hyde.

7. Don't ask to copy another designer - "That's one of the worst things I hear. Brides will bring tear sheets from the magazines and say I want this dress made by you with your embroidery… And that gown may have been made by Turun Tahilini or Manish Arora. I cannot copy their work, it's neither ethical nor is the work mine," quotes Symons.

Sure, there are people who will make fabulous carbon copies of couture gowns for bargain prices, but don't ask a designer to copy another designer. Not only is it not cool, it's also a violation of intellectual property.

Another fab silk peacock green corset dress, left, and gold and hot pink fitted dress, right.

Want to meet up with Lascelles for a bridal consultation? You can contact him at or on his Facebook page.