She is of the strangest beauty
And the darkest courage,
And when she walks with intent
The earth trembles beneath her feet.
- Nicole Lyons
What are you waiting for, my Beautiful Creature? You lived in the carefree moment and lived your life to the fullest, sharing the time with each of your Demons. Nothing left to be desired in this fraction of illusion you call Life. It is time for a change when everything fades to elegant black. When every unusual creation of nature evoke the danger, and the strange. When air is filled with sinister sexuality and Death. Come closer. Step inside and find your purity and harmony in this realm of departed souls. Become aware of who you are, where you are, what you are… Once you were a Dragon. Will you dare to fly fast and free again?
Treat her well, your keeper of secrets.
She only walks in whispers for the ones she loves.
- Nicole Lyons
I found the main inspiration for this project in a piece of Art Nouveau jewellery created by René Lalique. The “Dragonfly” broach is mesmerizing and frightening at the same time. From the gaping mouth of the insect a nude female bust emerges. This hybrid creature wields griffin’s claws and giant wings. Combining the dragonfly with the female figure, this creation attracts the world of contrast and opposites. She is a blend of the erotic, the strength, and the danger.
With my Mother of Dragonflies design I tried to reflect as many elements of this piece of art as possible. The corset on the naked body is a great replica of the female emergence out of the insect. The layering method emphasises this process even more. The sharp lines of the top edge of the corset represent the ferocious claws of the Dragonfly. And structured, yet transparent and elegant, the mesh and lace combination shows the delicate ornaments of the open wings.
This contest inspired and pushed me to challenge myself in different ways – creative, technical and professional.
I started with a sketch, knowing that the corset would have a difficult structure and a minimum amount of embellishment. Creating a combination of smooth and sharp lines and edges was my main goal from the beginning. Adding stand-out-from the body structure was both fascinating and challenging. That’s why I decided to give it a go.
As a pattern making enthusiast I was excited to draft my own pattern for the corset and test my skills and knowledge even further. After a successful first toile of the main part of the corset, I had to spend more time testing out the wing part, trying to make it lightweight but sturdy enough to hold the shape.
Using my favourite colour combination – black on black – allowed me to play with the texture of the chosen fabrics. Silk dupioni seemed to be the perfect main fabric for the corset, giving an illusion of a sleek body and allowing the dragonfly to glide through the air. Mesh overlaid with delicate lace imitates the lightness of the wings of this beautiful creature. A detachable decor of flowers with resting dragonflies brings an element of elegance and fragility to the character.
From the technical side, I could name my project “first time for everything!” – first time using silk dupioni fabric, which I fell in love with and I definitely will be using it over and over again. First time fusing natural silk onto stiff coutil and using this blend as one layer, saving myself from the not yet explored roll pinning technique. First time dealing with mesh fabric, which gave me less headache then I expected, as I thought it would fray and vanish just by holding it in my hands. Luckily layering mesh with lace and sewing pieces together was a relief. And the final “first time” challenge – sewing external boning channels on both the silk and mesh parts of the corset. As if that wasn’t enough, I decided to cut channels on the bias to make the texture of the silk stand out more.
I am thankful that the Foundation Revealed contest gave me an opportunity to push myself and create Mother of Dragonflies. I’m very pleased that I managed to overcome all my challenges, even if some of them took me longer than I anticipated.