For this competition I was immediately drawn to the ‘light, black, and white’ theme. What most inspired me to make this corset was a picture of a wrought iron gate detail with a peach background. The swooping lines of the black iron against the lighter background stuck in my mind. That is what I wanted to translate to my design. Some time ago, I purchased a white silk shot with a metallic yellow gold thread and some black lace. I immediately knew I would have to use those two fabrics together, as this lace did something very interesting when overlaid on the gold. It refracted the light in and almost moiré kind of pattern and so I had been waiting for a chance to make a corset out of it. This competition was the perfect opportunity to do so, as the gold added an extra dimension to the theme for me, much the same as gold leaf in paintings was used in medieval times to imitate light by reflecting candles positioned around the object. I thought the golden silk could be the reflective light source shining through my lace and velvet ribbon framework.
Although the lace would have looked lovely as a whole piece, I decided to cut the lace leaves out to place them in a swooping variegated pattern like the wing of a butterfly. It turned out to be quite time-consuming to stitch all the lace and ribbons on by hand, but since I had already decided that I wanted to make a double-layer corset with bones sandwiched in between, I did not have any choice but to do it by hand or else risk sewing through my boning channels.
I wanted to push for a slightly less traditional looking corset, opting instead for a pointed lower edge, then adding the asymmetrical straps. The straps, which contain synthetic whalebone, are meant to evoke a true wrought iron gate, but it was a bit of challenge to make the leaves at the end and turn them. I had wanted to make them out of a satin coutil and singe the edges against fraying, but as it turned out, the coutil that I had contained no polyester. In the end, I decided to make the leaves out of silk, turn them and just stitch them onto the covered boning vines. The vine that traverses one side to the other is inserted into the loop after putting on the corset, but it is not stitched down, otherwise it would be impossible to put the corset on.