MICHAEL REMEMBERED: HOW WE MET
Never was there a more gentlemanly, kind and helpful
corsetier and corset educator
than our friend, Michael Garrod, owner of True Grace
Corset Co. in London (Wokingham).
We first met Michael at
the famed Bal de Gracieuse in Vienna about 1994
and were proud to
represent his fine productions for about nine years until
his passing in 2003.
We hope you enjoy the most noteworthy
of his corsets in the images at the bottom of this page.
We are enthusiastic to add to this historical gallery, and thus
invite the viewer to send in additional images of their
own True Grace corsets not pictured here.
Our esteem was so great that we could think of no other
person more suitable to honor in the dedication of our waist-training book ("Corset
Magic") than Michael:
"This book is dedicated to Michael P.
Garrod (April 18, 1928-July 12, 2003)), principal of the
True Grace Corset Company in London, who, during his
distinguished twenty-one-year career as
a corsetier, never allowed a well-justifed artistic ego
get in the way of his love for the corset.
He selflessly shared his considerable talents and
knowledge with each inquiring
corset maker who was just beginning
the journey of learning one of the
fashion world's most ancient of crafts. He
unselfishly supported corset purveyors and enthusiasts
who promote the art and craft of corset making.
His lovely corsets live on to perpetuate
elegance and beauty in comportment and dressing."
Michael was a retired weather forecaster and accomplished
glider pilot in Britain when
he decided to teach himself how to make corsets. He
proceeded on to become known for industrial-strength tight-lacing
corsets made of the finest of English-woven fabrics with
heavy boning, yet he was always willing to take on
elegant embellishments, represented best in owner Ann's very
favorite peacock-feather "Lily" corset from
her custom collection, pictured above left. Ann and Michael amusingly dubbed these
creations his "over the top" or "OTT" corsets!
Not only that, but representing
an unexpected eclectic spirit, Michael also created some
of the most
fetish-styled corsets ever in leather, PVC, rubber and
fabric, as seen below including the sexy long-leg
corset (in pink satin), the girdle corset (spotted
coutil corset), and a heavy red rubber
corselette with straps, donated by a loving friend
in 2011 to our
ROMANTASY personal and historical collection
of True Grace Corsets. He also specialized in the fan-laced
(or camp) corset, each one taking about 13 hours to lay out
the complex lacing pattern.
OUR PERSONAL ASSOCIATION
Michael journeyed to San Francisco on a handful of
occasions to participate in
several Corset conventions, as well as ROMANTASY's
fashion shows and our famed
Corset Soirees at the Top of the Mark Hotel or the Fairmont's
Tonga Room, where he loved to dance the night
various well-corseted ladies.
Of course, he always
enjoyed the occasion to host a corseted-date or his
favored model Pandora pictured in gold, black, and plae
and made himself a cummerbund to
match the corset ensemble he would create for his companion.
We met and enjoyed Sandy on many occasions, pictured
purple and black corset ensembles. Sandy was perhaps Michael's
favored travelling companion and date!
Ready to laugh, always cheerful, adventurous in trying a
new tea room or restaurant, meeting new friends, and
corseting, he became friends with several of our corsetiere
team members and helped them with their crafting
questions. Always willing to help educate the corset
newbie or aspiring corset maker, he contributed several
articles on corset production to ROMANTASY's former
Owner Ann hosted several visits of Michael in her home,
and he returned the favor on Ann's two trips to England.
When Michael passed after a period of illness, we were
with significant notes of appreciation and sadness,
such as those below:
"Thanks for your web message "In Memoriam" of
Michael Garrod. I'm very sad that he had to go like this
and so soon! Still, the passage where you say that this
was "the beginning of a new passage and soul's adventure
for our beloved and distinguished corset maker" comforts
me a little bit. It's good to know that he has not
disappeared, but that he is somewhere out there and
feels better now. Kind regards." Sylphide (Germany)
We miss our friend even today, and forever.
One day while reflecting
on our personal and professional
relationship with Michael, we decided that although we
have lost his talents here on earth, most assuredly
he is up there in heaven making awesome corsets for the
angels! And so we call him our
"I have 2 corsets from True Grace. I will always
treasure them. Mr. Garrod is such a kind gentleman,
things will not be the same." Glenda H. (1/29/03)
"It is with great sadness that I hear of Michael
Garrod's passing, a great loss to our corset community.
He will be greatly missed but his corsets will live on
for years to come." Abby (New Zealand)
"I'm so sorry that your friend is gone. We are
made immortal by those who love us, so Mr. Garrod lives
on." Elizabeth (Butte, Montana)
"Corset Maker to the Angels."