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First I want to say thanks to all of the "Foundations Revealed" team for such an inspirational theme for this year's competition - "En Pointe". I started my research from classic ballet settings that have taken place in my local theatre, and selected an impressive number of promising ideas. It was really hard to choose just one of them, and the winner was "Don Kihot". The most remarkable thing about this ballet was that I felt in love with male costumes, not female. That's how the matador outfit and its interpretation in a haute couture, elegant and feminine manner became the main idea of my project.
Next to the "Continue the curves". I made the body suit with the inner corset. This year's pattern provides quite a neat silhouette, so the construction changes are minimal - I equalized the width of the straight panels, increased bust coverage, and made the waist narrower. The corset was made from one layer of herringbone coutil. The outer body was made from cotton crêpe fabric, fully covered with silk organza. The organza layer is a slightly darker shade than the fabric underneath to create a deeper and more vibrant color. The shoulder pieces are detached - small magnets are hidden in the corset straps to hold them in place.
Both of the themes of this costume (ballet and corrida) require tons of embellishment. And I've totally followed this idea. The side panels of the body and shoulder pieces were covered with antique handmade chantilly lace (dated circa 1880s) and hand embroidered with gimp wire, Swarovski crystals and pearls, beads, sequins, metal ribbon and silk ribbon in various techniques including goldwork, luneville and ribbon embroidery. I also decided to keep some flossing and cording from the original design, but since the garment is richly embellished, I made them subtle, not evident on first sight. Finally, the straps were decorated as male suspenders.
Ballet costumes should not usually restrict the freedom of movement or flexibility of the dancers. Corsetry is frequently absolutely opposite to this principle. But I did my best to provide maximum movability for my model in her outfit. In particular, coutil corset straps were replaced with wide elastic, I made an inner corset instead of a fully boned rigid corset body, and finally the waist reduction is more gentle than I usually make (but still dramatic).
Photographer: Mikhail Checkmezov