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Comment and tell all these courageous makers how amazing their work is!
Members: Pick THREE in each category. Voting link is at the bottom of the page when you're logged in.

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Coleoptera Fae - Méandrël Coleoptera Fae - Méandrël

Coleoptera Fae - Méandrël


Coleoptera Fae - Méandrël


Coleoptera Fae - Méandrël


Coleoptera Fae

Méandrël, France (l'Atelier de Méandrël)

Photographer : Emmanuelle Trompille Photographe


The Design


Brittle translucent wings, whimsical hinges, iridescent and stiff carapaces...

Deep blues, petrol blues, teal blues, emerald greens and a hint of violet.

An exoskeletal corset with plates of carapaces seemingly expanding and winged other-wordly veils. They all clash softly with their deep blacks and bluish-green reflections, raised by a hint of gold. The shape was already there, in my mind, a perfect synthesis of all the fascinating and strange beauty the insects hold for me. Taking into account my great enthusiasm for myth and legend, my choice was crystal-clear: this will be an adornment for Her Majesty of Faerie, both scarab and dragonfly.


The Construction

In order to give life to the piece I had in mind, I had to use many techniques:
- A large patternmaking work was necessary to obtain the body-corset's foundation and the hips and plates design.
- The shadings on the silk wings and back-veils are hand dyed.
- Golden shades and colors tones are hand made with textile paint.
- The wings structure are made of beaten copper wire,
- The wings' veins and hips shadings are drawn with free motion machine embroidery,
- Beads are hand-sewn

I spent 15 hours on the front plates only, stiching near to 4000 glass beads, one by one, to obtain the colour gradient I wanted.

I mainly make practical corsets to shape and support costumes, and remain comfortable during long and busy days. So working on this unique piece was an opportunity to have long reflections and make several tests to improve my cutting and shaping skills. It was also my first attempt for a body corset, and I encountered many design challenges.

But the biggest challenge was about the wings. I wanted them removable (for maintenance, storage and transportation, but also for being replaceable). I had to find how it could stay on the corset, be comfortable, be easy to use, and how I could prevent it turning and sliding and falling down. I managed with an extra channel between two boning channels, opened at the top with a hidden snap fastener which held the wings' rods. I even added a little strip to help the opening of the fastener when the corset is worn.

As for all my personal projects, I had ethical ambitions: I tried to work with materials which were already in my workshop, and only bought small a amount of technical materials.

The last challenge was time: I made my decision to enter less than three months ago!

But after 60 hours of work, 4000 glass beads and a few meters of silk, a new creature joined my bestiary: my Coleoptera Fae is born!

Read more on my blog


What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?

I was a little short on time, but it was an exhilarating challenge!

Claire Green
Love all the beading on the front plates! a lot of patience there! the overall look is fantastic!
The gradient effect you made with your beads really makes the panels stand out!
Removable wings are such a good idea! The texture on the front panel is exceptional too
Beautiful! The layered and beaded front panel is absolutely stunning!
The front panelling for me is really the higlight of your outfit. It has such intricate detial and the panneling really reminds of insect scales. Beautiful work.
marloes dadswell
Having seen just glints of this design on social media, I was so excited to see the whole look. And oh dear it doesn't disappoint! The beadwork is so balanced and those wings just such a perfect touch of fragility.
so cool! I love the front panels, just stunning. This idea for the wing attachment is brilliant! I also really love that kind of charles james-inspired tail with the blue fabric. So dreamy! Great job!
The layered front is beautiful!
Wow I love the gradient beadwork on those panels beautiful work!
The beaded front plates have worked brilliantly - a fabulous idea and so well executed!
I can only agree with everybody else: Stunning work with the embroidery on the front panel! It creates such a beautiful and interesting texture. Also I really like how you attached the wings to the corset. That's such a clever idea!
Well, everybody else has already said this, but it really can’t be said enough - the stunningly glittering front segments/scales are magnificent! Truly breathtaking. The gold and petrol shimmer color combination is gorgeous. The hip fins are also lovely, and seem a natural continuation of the bead-encrusted front sections. Very clever method of attaching the beautiful wings, too. Fantastic job!
What a wonderful way to break free of the practical corsets and let your imagination fly! I'm so glad you took the plunge. Your work is truly gorgeous, and I'm blown away by the hours of handwork. Wonderful Méandrël, well done!
Another fan of the stunning front layering and clever beading, love the wings too.
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