My corset is inspired by the character/ballet La Sylphide. La Sylphide is a Romantic ballet, predating ballet-blanc but still gentle and pale in terms of costuming.
For my entry I wanted to create something which would be appropriate for the character of La Sylphide – a gentle spirit/fairy. I used a pale golden silk and a golden lace to create a piece with a delicate feel but ethereal undertones.
I didn’t want to just enter “a corset”, I wanted to push myself. Rather than making a simple underbust or overbust, I decided to make a cupped corset. This is a skill which I have been working on over the past year, so I wanted to create something I could look at as a marker of how far I have progressed with this skill. The corset is made from a layer of coutil, a layer of silk satin, and a plain cotton lining. It has a mix of flat and spiral steel bones, and the cups are lightly padded.
I did have a few setbacks, which I have documented in my dress diary. My main issue was having to start completely from scratch at the end of December with very limited materials available. Overall I’m happy with the outcome - It’s a little simple compared to how I imagine some entries will be, and I am disappointed I didn’t have a chance to make a tutu. I’ve explained why in my dress diary, and it’s not something which could have been helped, so I think I made the best of a disappointing situation – I have also learned that leaving an important project in a different country is not a good idea when it has a deadline!
I learned a lot from this corset – I am a lot more confident about working with satin, I’m really happy with my skills with cupped corsetry and patterning, and I think I managed to make something which looks like ‘my’ work, but uses tones I would probably not have chosen to use if I was not making something for the competition.