Abeille - Runner Up in the Improver category
I am into the magic world of corsetry since I learnt how to sew, and finally this year was the time to join the Foundations Revealed competition! A joyful excuse to play with creativity. The insects theme was very interesting and finding inspiration was very simple to me.
The inspiration mainly came from bees and some species of furry wasps to produce something provocative, decadent and lightly romantic. My intention was to obtain a dramatic amount of different shapes and textures, both sharp and soft, perfectly fused together. The design had to look extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world, like a nymph. It was also a long time I wanted to include fur in a project so I decided to give it a try!
In the contemporary corsetry field everyone knows about Mr. Pearl. His work as an artist and a couturier is always in my mind. Emulating him is always a priceless pleasure. I often relate myself to my work in a very personal way, so it was clear that I will wear my creation for the shoots.
As always I tried to give a historical flavour to the piece using all the finest details that I could, from the flossing, through the hand-painted label, to the stitch length. What could be better than perfectly aligned 1mm long stitches? Details are my secret lovers. Even the smallest, even the one hidden through the lining that no one will ever see, they worth all the little pains.
The corset is an under-bust which silhouette is based on the fashionable shapes of late 1870’s and early 1880’s, with a high waist under the ribs and a long rounded abdomen sustained by a dramatically curved spoon busk. It is made of Bordeaux silk taffeta roll-pinned over ivory silk douchesse and boned on each seam with steel bones. Each bone end is flossed with silk thread in a traditional sharp crossed design. The real challenge was to recreate the bee-like motif using the faux fur, creating something that looked like lace appliqué. I cut all the pieces and applied them to the corset with invisible hand stitches, mixing the colors to make it work.
In order to complete the look I sewed a little head piece combined with a traditional venetian mask called “moretta” or “muta”. The hat is sewn to resemble the head of a bee. It’s made using faux fur and characterized by black puffed tulle eyes entirely covered with hand sewn beads and sequins. The final touch is a pair of velvet covered antennae. Under the hat’s silk chiffon veil there’s the fascinating mouthless “moretta”, a black papier maché Venetian mask.
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 very exciting and stimulating. I tell them that it's never too late to take part in something new and have a really good time with someone who has the same interests. So be positive and let's start!