The first that I saw of her yesterday was a tuft of green hair and a flash of metal from crowed rows of ear piercings. Her head was bent forward over her silver tipped canes in effort; it was hard for her to walk and she seemed to be in pain. “Hey, Bob!” I greeted her. “How are you doing today?” The face that normally held a beaming smile lifted towards me and my guts dropped a few inches at the grimace that had replaced it. Yes, Bob was in pain. She shared a sentiment similar to life being shit wall-to-wall and quickly found herself a seat. “And how is the baby?”
This inquiry made her light up like a Christmas tree in Germany. “I may be falling apart, no matter about that, the baby’s brilliant!” For a little while as she talked about her son, soon to be seven, and the little one on the way, the familiar Bobbish joie de vivre returned. Listening to her speak in a roller coaster of a British accent that has the uncanny affect of amplifying emotions, both chipper and morose, one might have been able to forget for a moment that she was in excruciating pain.
You see, Bob wears a high-back posture corset daily for chiropractic support. She said, “It’s like armor, it’s my exoskeleton. My bones and ligaments are not strong enough to hold me up. But my corset is.” But with her rapidly changing body shape, she could no longer wear her regular corset. With its flat front and curved in sides, it became increasingly uncomfortable and she had to cut her losses.
But Bob’s no fool. As soon as she knew she was pregnant, she went to Autumn Adamme, proprietress of Dark Garden, and asked her to make something she’s never made before. An expanding, adaptable, maternity corset. It had to be done, with the severity of a good client and friend’s wellbeing at stake, and it had to be done fast. Custom work is usually done in 3-5 months, but Autumn obviously didn’t have that kind of time. I remember seeing her after that initial meeting and thinking to myself: due process to the wind, this shit just got real.
Their collaborative invention is unbelievably cool. It features a zip front to contour over the belly, separate busk closure for easy breast feeding, detachable underbelly support belt, and adjustable lacing at the center back and both sides — making the front belly panel completely replaceable by a rounder one further along, or a flatter one after birth. Oh, and Bob had it made in a shiny black leather, because she’s the best.
Once we put it on her, she changed completely. She was able to stand up straight, but more noticeably, she smiled. She could walk and stand and chat and shop and, whatever, live again and she seemed really freaking tickled. Anything we can do to make this clearly awesome death metal mama rock on a little harder? Yes. Who wouldn’t sign on to this uniquely fascinating challenge?