Mr Pearl is one of, if not the greatest corsetier of our time. Having designed and created corsets for some of the biggest fashion houses in the industry and for stars such as Dita Von Teese and Kylie Minogue, it is clear that he has an undeniable talent. Many of his corsets feature interesting additions, such as motorbike parts, or even diamanté bones.However, his corsets are not available to buy off the rack, instead each piece is custom made using only traditional methods for the individual who has commissioned the garment. Mr Pearl has an irrefutable talent for corsetry, however on this occasion I wish to discuss the more personal side of this gentleman.
Mr Pearl is a true inspiration to me, for many reasons. If you hadn’t guessed by now, I am a fan of body modification may that be a permanent modification such as a tattooing the skin, or temporary such as using a bullet bra to create a pointed bust. I very much like the idea of taking control of your body and moulding it into something that it wouldn’t naturally look like. I find it incredibly interesting to watch how people change their bodies over the years, and how they settle into their new bodies, as well as people’s reactions to their appearance. Mr Pearl has been waist training for over 20 years and in doings so, has achieved an extreme waist rarely seen on women, let alone men. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term ‘waist training’, it is the discipline of wearing a corset for extended periods of time, with the end goal of minimising and/ or changing the shape of the waist. Mr Pearl wears his corset(s) all day and night, unlacing himself only to bathe, and has achieved a waist measuring only 18 inches around. Very few people are able to stay continuously corseted for this long as it does not suit the lifestyle of everyone.
To wear the corset all the time, the way I do, is my true discipline.
– Mr Pearl, Verbal Abuse*I very much respect Mr Pearl for having so much discipline and getting down to such a small size. Another one of my heroes is a lady named Ethel Granger. Although she was even more extreme (her waist was 13 inches around) and some may be horrified by the sight of her sculpted body, one has to acknowledge the fact that this is not something that happens overnight. It is simply not possible to tight-lace a normal waist to 13 inches with a few tugs of the laces.
Although my mother’s generation are undoubtably relieved that they did not and do not have to wear those ‘dreadful torture devices’ that are girdles and corsets, one cannot deny that the women of previous generations had perfectly manicured silhouettes. Up until the 1970s, there was so much emphasis on the need for foundations, it simply wasn’t done to leave the house without. The idea of a foundation garment is to essentially accentuate the parts of the body that one wanted to show off, and to control problem areas. The many benefits of foundation wear would be visible as soon as the lady put on her outerwear. Mr Pearl, in my opinion, is one of the very few gentlemen who understands the necessity for shaping undergarments, including but not limited to corsets. Where women were previously assisted by foundations to achieve the desired silhouette, we are now expected to just have that figure naturally. So many people think that women were simply smaller in the past; while this is partly true (we are taller and slightly wider), women shaped and reduced parts of their bodies to achieve the fashionable silhouette of the times.
A foundation garment is very important to an outfit. It’s an enhancement of the beauty of nature. It affects your bearing and balance. It elongates the body and bestows elegance.
– Mr Pearl, New York Social Diary**
On a side note, I find the silhouette of a man wearing a tightly fitted suit around a corseted waist, extremely attractive. It may not be for everyone, but this photo makes my heart flutter.I could go on about this extraordinary man for hours but I will make this my last point – BDSM.
I am going to share a part of my life that I don’t usually talk about; I very much like being dressed in my underwear by my partner, and I especially enjoy being laced into my corsets. One of my favourite things to do is to be tight-laced by him, to me it is an extremely intimate act and very dominating, and to feel the tightness of the corset all day long is a reminder of that person and their ownership of you. Now, I want to make it clear that when I say that a person may own another person, this relationship is completely consensual. I am not referring to an abusive relationship, it is important to differentiate the two types of relationships. Mr Pearl describes this act of tying the corset perfectly:
It is essential to always wear the corset very tight and well-tied. We understand the tying of the bow denotes possession. The gentleman who has the pleasure of tying the final bow owns you.
– Mr Pearl, Verbal Abuse*Mr Pearl has spoken briefly about his BDSM relationship, he has a Dominant but he also describes his corset as being his Dominant, which I find incredibly interesting:
It is the corset that is the Dominant. If you give yourself over to it, in wearing such a garment you are giving yourself up, losing yourself in the Discipline.
– Mr Pearl, Verbal Abuse*
Would I like to own a custom corset by Mr Pearl? My god yes, but I would also very much like to speak with him and understand more about his relationship with corsets, and with his Dominant. I would like to understand his relationship with corseting others and I would of course love to learn about his inspirations. Mr Pearl is however a very private person and very rarely does interviews, he prefers to work in his atelier in Paris and get on with what he does best, making beautiful corsets.
Let me leave you with another one of his quotes, that makes me smile…
The happiest ladies have a gentleman behind them, and these ladies usually have the smallest waists. They’re very lucky.
– Mr Pearl, Verbal Abuse*