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Damselfly by Lily Insaudo   Damselfly by Lily Insaudo   Damselfly by Lily Insaudo   

  Damselfly by Lily Insaudo Damselfly by Lily Insaudo



Lily Insaudo, Italy


The Design

I must confess that as soon as I read the theme of the competition I went into confusion because I could not decide which insect to choose on which to develop the whole project. Having to take into account that I decided to take part in a competition at the end of November, I had to give up building insects with armor which would have take much more time. In the end I followed the instinct that pushed me to choose the dragonfly as the protagonist.

At the textile shop the blue color I had in mind was not available, so I opted for a cobalt blue taffeta and my clear dragonfly became darker. I chose to use three levels of color, two of which were quite conflicting with each other; those colors, present in larger or smaller quantities in the insect, are lower light green, petrol green and blue.

I asked myself which were the main lines of the dragonfly's body: I think it's a thin waist that divides a broad chest from the thinner, slender bottom. The presentation photos are taken in front of a wooden showcase with inlays inspired by the Art Noveau design. Through the link below you can see my folder Corset Insect on Pinterest, where there is a chronology of images that I saw and selected during the design; in the end I uploaded photos of the processing of the dress.

I hope the insect's humanization project comes to you as I thought it, that it has not just been trapped in my mind and that it does not make too much impression the result. I conclude by saying that I found the whole working process very amusing and stimulating. The theme allowed me to bring out and express the passion for metamorphosis, a concept, a thought that, thanks to Ovid and Arachne, I always carry around.

I thank you for the time and attention you give to my work.


The Construction

Based on this design concept, I picked an under bust corset as a fulcrum of the dress, in particular a Swiss Waist corset and an Edwardian-style evening dress from around 1910. The corset is an integral part of the dress and is therefore one with the skirt. They are not distinguished. 

The skirt is composed of two parts. One is attached to the corsage that on the front comes just above the knee and stretches out going towards the back creating a scaled effect, falling on the sides as if to wrap the lower part. The other part of the skirt comes out from underneath and clings to the legs. Behind that, a fold allows the leg to bend, giving a walk similar to the type one might have in a kimono.

The dress is deep blue and is divided into sections by embroidery in green water silk thread (inspired by Sashiko Japanese embroidery), so to take back the light drafts that decorate the body of the dragonfly that in the specific case of the blue one are characterized by very light and bright shades that are emphasized by using beads to define the light points. The skirt line is inspired by a 1910 evening dress, specifically the idea of a skirt under the skirt.

I used a light green water raw linen fabric to create a convex effect of the torso, realizing a t-shirt with a kimono sleeve that closes at the waist with oil-colored ribbons. Then, to define the neckline, there is an oil-green border.

The footwear is the same color and fabric as the dress to emphasize the long line and pointed shape of the tip of the body. On the head there is a mask that echoes all the colors I used, integrated with each other with reverse appliqué with the addition of beads for the light points, in the eyes of the spheres made by a black wire mesh. The mask is closed at the back with a light green satin ribbon. The same ribbon is used to close a collar of light green macramé decorated with oil green and cobalt blue beads. In the center stands a blue pearl. On the arms there are taftà gloves to make the upper limbs like the legs coming out from under the sleeves, as if they were a continuation of the body. On the back, stopped between the back and the corset, cellophane wings are inserted to define the line of the dragonfly.


More details 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?

It was challenging but full of personal satisfaction. This competition confronted me with new techniques, expanding my knowledge of craftsmanship.

Lovely details with the sachiko embroidery, very subtle but definitly adds visual interest to the overall design. Well done.
Quirky and clever interpretation of the theme, I love the colours and details on the wings
Incredible detail to your design - the colour is absolutely stunning!
I love the embroidery details, and the colours are very striking!
That cobalt blue is beautiful!
The Edwardian dress in itself is very elegant indeed and the wings look almost real. Good job!
The wings are lovely, they look like a real insect!

I thank you all, for the support but above all for the appreciation. I am sorry that I have not replied before at the moment I am traveling to Japan and I have less chance to check the progress of the competition. Thanks again to all of you5
I can only agree with the previous commenters:
The embroidery adds great texture and visual interest to your design and I also really enjoyed your quirky interpretation of the theme. ^_^

What an intriguing entry - quirky and bold with the striking headpiece and wings, but when you look closely, there's subtle embroidery detail that rewards us for getting up close. Well done Lili!
The wings are beautifully done and the embroidery o the dress is lovely
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