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Giselle, the most haunting of all the romantic ballets. In creating this corset I sought to capture the melancholy spirit of the ballet, the delicate, gentle beauty of the dancers on stage.
The corset and wings use extremely delicate and fragile antique French laces, over ivory silk and ivory mesh. Black external boning channels and design lines in almost stain glassed effect, enhance the feminine beauty and delicacy of the piece. Scallop edging on the base of the corset and a gentle petal shape over the bust top edge further soften the lines.
There were several extremely challenging elements to this corset – the first being the lace, which was full of holes due to its age; this made the pattern matching very difficult to achieve. Some very careful hand stitching was required to repair the lace in places. The mounting of the wings in the correct position, like the Wilis in the ballet, took creative thinking and trial and error. Using soft wire to create a frame for the wings helped to support them in the position required.
Giselle corset was created for the 2015 Oxford Conference of Corsetry. I hoped Mr Pearl would appreciate it (and my inspiration from his own Gaultier/ Dita lace piece). I was ecstatic when he knew straight away my reference point of the ballet, and he particularly loved the wings.