Aimee Scott, UK
I looked for a building that could spark my interest and I discovered the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal. I had come across the Parisian Notre Dame, and began my search there due to my childhood love of the Disney movie the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but I was not aware of its sister building in Montreal. It was beautifully colourful and had so many delicate details, unlike any other church I have come across before. My corset design became very elaborate very quickly, including the stained glass windows that caught my attention and the lace feel of the organ, which captured my imagination and immediately gave me inspiration. The window in the ceiling, alongside the luxurious gold within the building entranced me. To me, my design felt extremely reminiscent of the church and its fine details.
There were multiple parts of the building that knew I wanted to explore and add into the corset, such as the windows, and the star and cross pattern from the ceiling. The bold patterned columns, and the organ with its lace effect were also an inspiration for my design.
There was a lot of hand embroidery within my design, in order to achieve the necessary detail, and I spent time experimenting with new materials to achieve different effects, reflective of the building. I used synthetic whalebone for the first time, worked out a way to cover the lacing on the back of the corset with a cover panel, and I hid all the boning on an under layer to create a smoother look, reminiscent of the walls.
Some of the trickier aspects of the corset included finding a way to put windows into the sides of the garment, to represent the stunning stained glass windows of the building, and creating intricate piping to achieve my design.
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 really great to push myself to be inspired by something that I wouldn't usually find inspiring, however it has given me a new appreciation for architecture, an area that I previously had little interest in. I passionately believe that if you enjoy making corsets then you should participate, just to do something for yourself.