CHARACTER: Once She was a thing of beauty and meaning, welcoming saints and sinners to worship their God. Now She stands alone, dressed in charred remnants of confessions of Faith and Love. Sins, turned into ashes, still burn Her softly with every gentle breeze. She’s see-through now, nothing kept hidden. Her translucent walls reveal dark secrets of those awaiting redemption. Lonely, still strong, She seeks forgiveness, but Her screams are just a whisper. Her resistance is waning, She releases herself from the guilt, transforms and blossoms like a divine flower after pure air of compassion. And only the scent of Her remains.
INSPIRATION: “Architecture calls for structure” – was my first thought after this year's theme was announced. I was always fascinated by Gothic churches – the triumphs of engineering in stones – their style and visible structure, their high walls, pointed arches and rib vault. So my research and search for inspiration began. As I was browsing the pictures, some photos of burnt churches appeared – looking so dark, mysterious and lonely. Once it was a building that was providing shelter and bringing joy to seekers, now it’s abandoned revealing all the layers texture and remaining decor. But what if it has feelings, what if its walls are still filled with emotions? What if a church itself seeks absolution?
PROCESS: Working on the outfit, I started from essentials – building the structure for the corset. Stays are the best representation of static and monumental shape, in my opinion. So, after one of the FR Members' Live Workshops with Luca Costigliolo, where he explains how effortless construction of the stay is, I decided to give it a go. And after 30 minutes I had my pattern finished. Mock-up fitted perfectly, all I had to do was to figure out what style lines I want to have on a side panels and clarify the top and bottom lines.
Skirt design was inspired by high walls of the churches – long vertical lines naturally elevates the top part of the outfit. Most challenging parts of the skirt were pointed arches located on both sides on the hips – a few mock-ups were made and after third attempt I got the desired shape.
My favourite part of the process was décor – all of those distressed layers of tulle, painted skirt edges and “peeling” burnt lace motifs. To get textured effect, I treated lace and tulle with heat. Also I tried a “bread knife” technique once suggested by another of our mentors, Barbara Pesendorfer. For almost all my materials, I used what I already had in my stash – bits and pieces left from few bridal dress commissions. That really helped me to set myself a goal to buy less fabrics this year and just use ones that are sitting in my boxes. After hours spent hand-stitching the lace motifs and beads, my creation was complete.
P.S. smoke on the pictures was created by burning incense sticks.
I'm very thankful to my fiance Matthew, supporting and assisting me in all my creative journeys. :)
What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?
Every year's Competition is a new personal challenge! I push myself to explore new things - drafting new patterns, working with materials I've never used before and trying out new decor techniques. And, of course, creating something out of my comfort zone! Don't doubt! Just let yourself go crazy and dive into your creative world!
Definitely very ghostly and ethereal. I love the connection of your story and your design. Beautiful work!
С первого тизера я очень ждала полной картинки, и я не разочарована ни на секунду. Это фантастика! Очень хочется поближе посмотреть на сам корсет, но я надеюсь, мы еще увидим больше фотографий процесса в инстаграме. А еще очень хочется увидеть это платье в атмосферной фотосессии где-нибудь в лесах с дымом и вот этим всем))
This is stunning, I love that at first glance your piece looks very chaotic but still very balanced and as you investigate you get all the cathedral shapes. Beauty in its true form!
This is breathtaking, Lina!
I was really excited to see this year's entry from you, after your spectacular piece from the last competition and all the sneak peeks you have shown. Reading your background story actually gave me goosebumps and I think you have nailed it once again with design, construction and embellishment.
Oh my <3 <3 So etheral!!! I am blown away. The embroidery, the embellishment, the way you made those hips, the lines of the channels, that "falling apart" skirt; it is flowy, soft, angular, hard and strong all at the same time. I am loving it!!
Such gorgeous layered textures and a really interesting approach to the theme, clever and innovative while playing to your strengths and personal style, the architectural vaults in the skirt are terrific!
Wow. Beautiful in every way, I absolutely love it and the creative take on the theme!
I love all of this. The distressing, the fabric choice and the shapes created are beautiful.
This is so light and ethereal; I can definitely picture this wanting to float away on the slightest breeze.
I'm already married, but if I weren't, I'd be banging down your door begging to wear this dress! I entered in intermediate and today I'm working through all the entries so I can comment and vote, so now coming to the higher category I'm so inspired by your work and my mind is ticking about how to up my game. Very well done, this is just divine.
I already told you, this is such a magical piece! I love the fragility and lightness it emits. And you gave the stays a go, this incredible inspiring, have to do that, too <3 And I can so see and feel the inspiration of this piece, all the details, the structure, the hip pieces and that you actually burned parts of it... it is just breathtaking. You did an outstanding beautiful job!
Stunning, beautiful, ethereal, magical.
Absolutely beautiful! So delicate, It could be a bridal outfit! :) x
Such a wonderful outfit. I love the shape of the stays, especially the fit at the back is beautifully curved, just as in 18th Century stays. So modern, yet so historically accurate in shape. One of my favourite pieces!
Magical. Mystical. Mesmerizing. A work of art!
Really gorgeous work! Love the embellishment.
So ethereal and detailed. It is endlessly gorgeous and I would want to wear one in every colour!