This piece is mostly inspired by large European Gothic churches. I knew I wanted to make it dark, because I wanted to find a more rough and textural inspiration, instead of letting myself be inspired by the golden and light interior of the large buildings. I found the perfect faux suede fabric with a metallic effect in it that reminded me so much of the texture old churches and cathedrals get after many decades of April showers and cold winters in north/west Europe. The mix between the fabric and the many glass beads hand-sewn onto the structure really underlined the buildings that I admire so much. I really wanted to show the fragile beauty of the doomsday towers reaching to the sky, getting to incorporate weather and a cinematic interpretation of the churches in question.
The inspiration for me was an image I had in my head of a Gothic church with stained glass windows. With the wind howling through the massive towers. The rain pouring down the old structure, reflecting the moon; obscuring its image to be a thousand tiny stars, all plucked from the black sky that now stood empty above. Mother of heaven, Madonna - she plucked every star from the sky and weaved them into the fabric of her being, the light she stole would become a story of a savior, a virgin birth and bloodshed. She stood tall in her raising empire, with a mother's love - pure and forgiving.
There were a ton of firsts for me. It was my first time creating a corseted dress, my first time dealing with this amount of glass beads, first time working with the transfers for the windows, first time with preparing vacuum forms and attaching them, and it was my first time making a skirt with any kind of construction in it at all... not to mention the “knee-fins” over the skirt.
I used EVA-foam to stiffen my fins, I used 3D-printing and a vacuum-machine (with help from my boyfriend) to make my almost weightless golden frame for the bottom part of the skirt, and I used a gradient technique (see the article on FR by Emiah Couture) to make the “rain effect” with the glass beads. I also searched far and wide to acquire the paper to print my pictures of the Irish cathedrals stained glass windows. I had to construct a headpiece that could balance out the heavy design. I made the base from Worbla and velvet and started out with an old dial, only to build the design upon that.
The out of model picture has been taken before embellishing the clover skirt, where you can really see the shape and construction of the skirt hiding behind the stained glass windows and the golden frame.
I challenged myself to both have some level of architectural patterning, but also be inspired by specific buildings and architectural periods on time. I wanted to incorporate the personification of said buildings' core: the Virgin Mary.
What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?
Maybe start before January, I always end up doing this last minute and it is super hard. Also make sure to use the FR group if you need help or moral support, that is one of the greatest strengths of this community. Challenge yourself and maybe start off by doing something inspired by the theme and if it turns out really nice, go all in and be a part of this wonderfully friendly competition. We are all here for each other and we celebrate everyone <3
Your work is always absolutely gorgeous - I was so excited to see your entry and I was not let down. I love it!
I'm so glad you like it, I had to really push myself as I ended up waiting too long - afraid of the many firsts. I can't wait to hear next years theme and this time hopefully get started before January 13th <3
Wow Kitty this blows my mind! The video was really a nice touch.
Thank you so much, I'm so fortunate to have a friend who enjoys videography who could help out with the detail shots :D
Stunning! I love gothic architecture and am thrilled to see such an amazing interpretation.
Im so glad you enjoy it- thank you so much for the kind words.
oh. my. lordie. SWOON!
aww, thank you so much
Beautiful shape. Love the framing and glass details on the fishtail. Well done lovely!
Thank you so much- those were definitely the details I was loosing sleep over. glad to know that I did well ^_^
The fit! the details! This is a complete joy to explore in both texture and silhouette, I love all the vac-formed details they really frame the window panels and allow the design to balance with the extreme neckline. Glorious x
I'm so happy that you enjoyed them- they were some tricky little bastards, not wanting to cooperate for the first few days :P
You really have brought your work up to the next level, Kitty!
Fhe silhouette, use of materials execution and of course the presentation are phenomenal! You can be so proud of how far you have come!
Im crying <3 Thank you so much, you have always been a huge inspiration to me and I am extremely happy to hear that from you
Absolutely stunning! I love the shape and smoothness. The fishtail is gorgeous.
Thank you so much- it was so important to me that my fishtail not look flat, so it was so interesting working with construction in skirts
Gorgeous work in every way! I love the shape and how smoothly it flows down your hips, and all the intricate details.
Thank you so much, that means a lot coming from you- I loved your entry as well- your details was just out of this world gorgeous.
This looks like it should have belonged in the Met's Heavenly Bodies exhibition! It is indeed heavenly--and that fit is perfect!
I love the details in this like the beading and fabric texture, the whole thing really works together!
This is absolutely stunning! I especially love the stained glass effect and the spiked cups :)
Oh my, the silhouette is just breathtaking, and the character you show us in the photoshoot is just mine, you did such a great job!
Oh my! I love the whole silhouette! Everything balances out so well and I absolutely love the stained glass embellishments! :) x
WOW! <3 I don't know where to start... First I love the story behind your design. You really build a scene like a little movie and I can relate to this so much. And I love corset dresses, I guess the velvet wasn't the easiest to work with, I admire your patience. The construction you did, just wow, I really love it, this silhouette is divine (I'm all about silhouettes and lines) ;) And you used so many techniques in this little amount of time, how the hell did you do this?! And the beading at the skirt, I already loved that the moment I saw a work of progress, all the tiny decent sparkle <3 Such an incredible piece of art, Kitty, it really is divine! <3
It's really stunning Kitty. Sooooo much work in such a short space of time. I love the shape and all the details. I recently tried to take a photograph of a William Morris window in Worcester cathedral and because of the light flooding in the whole picture is black except for the stained glass, The bottom of your skirt really captures this. You're very clever, it's superb xxx
Gorgeous, inspiring, incredible work as always! There is so much in your construction that I don't understand but that only leads me to realize how vast the learning is for corsetry and costume based around corsetry. Beautifully done!!
It's just beautiful isn't it? You've got to be feeling incredibly proud of that. It reminds me of Holly Rafaela. So many wonderful elements; you've really thought about this. And you only started in January? Go you!
Simply stunning design and construction. I just love it all. Inspirational!
You really did an amazing job, so many different challenges in one outfit. The cut, the fit, the presentation are really outstanding! You must be proud!
I had a little scream of delight when I saw this first on instagram. So beautiful I am going to be zooming in and out for the rest of the evening! Divine!!!
I don't think I can find the right words to compliment your work - 'uuuh, wooow, whaaat' comes to mind when seeing these pictures and reading the details of the work process. Simply said - fantastic work and stunning photos!
Am dead. Am slain by the beauty of this creation.
Please tel me you have a blog or some WIP shots/posts of this--I'm so curious about the construction process. This piece is really inspiring!