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The 2020 Competition is now over.
The 2021 Theme will be chosen by our Members in April!

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The Volcano Corset Dress     The Volcano Corset Dress

The Volcano Corset Dress     The Volcano Corset Dress

The Volcano Corset Dress     The Volcano Corset Dress



The Volcano Corset Dress

Caroline Zoé Geissbühler, Switzerland (Zoé Corsets)

IG: zoecorsets

Inspiration and Mood Board: Pinterest

Other Credits:

Model and Make-up: Threnody in Velvet
Photography and Editing: Iberianblackarts


The Design

I struggled a lot with the design for this piece. I had 1000 ideas, I saw 1000 possibilities, I wanted to incorpore anything, lots of different colours (almost the entire rainbow), different laces, and yet none of them really satisfied me. It took me a really long time to just be able to let my brain out of the process and let my hands work, and keep it simple.

The inspiration I chose was the Phoenix at first, because it obviously represents renewal, but then, seeing the end result, I found the volcano would be more accurate: the dress is like flowing, burning hot lava, running away from the black corset, with sparks of fire flying around (the bits of gold lace).


The Construction

I used only materials I had already. I took pieces from unfinished projects (the mesh base of the corset) or fabrics that were intended for other projects that never came to life. I like this because some of the final outcomes came from these restrictions, but it really IS a renewal for these materials. It was the first time I worked with corsetry mesh, the first time I used this pattern, the first time I attached a skirt directly at the bottom line of the corset, did a big lacing at the back, the first time I did a top like this one. The biggest challenge for me was to fight against the imposter syndrome and to do what I had in mind, whatever my reason said to me.


Materials Used

- Black corsetry mesh, panels already sewn together five years ago for another person who abandoned the project
- Black corsetry satin for the boning channels
- Gold busk and eyelets
- Metallic spiral and flat boning
- Synthetic whalebone around the lacing on the skirt
- Red lacing, Swiss-made
- Black tulle from my stash (already used in other works)
- Ombre crêpe de chine, designed by myself, ordered for a project that never came to life
- Red, black and gold lace from a swap of leftover fabrics
- Pattern was based on the post-Edwardian longline corset from "Bridges on the Body". 


What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?

Challenging but so worth it! I overcame my fears and went a step further on my corset journey!



So gorgeous !! Well done
Really beautiful work!
Rhea Steensma
The details on the velvet are so dreamy ?? great stuff!!
This is extraordinary! I love your concept—the fiery skirt with that black corset top is so bold and striking!
Thank you ! Yeah I cannot avoid bold things in my life... :-)
kitty mortensen
I love the firceness of the volcano, it is stunning. Very well done
Yeah, fierce, that's what I wanted for this outfit. Thank you very much to have noticed it!
Love the skirt!
This is the perfect gown for Pele the volcano goddess on Hawaii Island. Thank you for offering this gorgeous confection which is such food for the eyes, heart and soul!
Oh I didn't know about Pele but I did look and you're totally right ! Thank you for mentionning her !
You shouldn't be worrying about imposter syndrome because you are clearly very talented. The volcano is the perfect description for this as it is a vibrant erruption of creativity.
Thank you for saying me this it's precious ! And I love your metaphor about my work ! Thanks !
So gorgeous, I really love the vibrant ombre of the train.
Thank you! That's my own design I had it printed because I couldn't find something I wanted. It was meant for another project at the beginning but I'm glad I used it for this one...
Great job ! I love the surprise of the red lacing !
What a fierce design!
You can be very proud of what you have achieved with your entry!

Whath a nice interpretation! Such a strong and powerful design!
This is really stunning - you have managed to conjure up the dramatic feeling of a volcano. Hot!
So dramatic, the colours are beautiful.
This is a beautiful fiery realisation for all of these materials you've held on to! Well done, your theme is instantly translated in a glance!
marloes dadswell
What a gorgeous contrast between the fiery skirt and dark corset. Such a striking design!
Gorgeous use of de-stash - the gold lace adds stunning focal points that really bring the design together
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