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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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Persephone      Persephone




Lina Piprek

IG: linapiprek

Model: Riah Fielding-Walters @_yousei


The Design

"and they do not speak
of how she pounded at the gates of hell until they opened
and how she let the pomegranate juice
drip from her smiling lips
and how even Hades
trembled under her gaze.”
- on Persephone

It was the changing of seasons that inspired my entry. Leaves falling and plants withering, this year’s growth giving way to the barren cold and paving the way for the world to be reborn in the spring. The idea that this year’s progress does not live forever, and that we need change in order to grow. And there was no character that could have better personified this duality than Persephone, Greek goddess of spring growth and queen of the underworld.

I wanted her to feel fierce, powerful, and in charge of her own destiny, and I wanted the design itself to tell Persephone’s story. Embellishment begins at the neckline with flowers and leaves, representing her life as goddess of spring growth. These gradually fade into pearls and beads to symbolize the pomegranate seeds she eats to stay in the underworld, ultimately becoming queen. The design then transitions to a brown skirt, which flares out and gradually turns back to a vibrant red, representing the cyclical nature of her role and the return of color to the world in the spring. A translucent mesh panel gives a glimpse of cleavage, and paired with the silhouette helps to give the outfit a dramatic edge.


The Construction

The corset pattern is the first I created completely on my own, and has 7 panels per side. It’s made from a layer of silk dupion bonded to coutil, with a mesh insert at the front and modesty panel at the back. All the lace and fabric flowers are offcuts and scraps; the flowers are hand sewn and the peonies are dyed to repurpose petals from a previous corset. The hardware is new (I simply haven’t made enough corsets to repurpose boning), though I did use boning and eyelets from my stash.

The skirt is made from ribbed silk (from a warehouse which was closing years ago) and red and purple tulle (my only new fabric), which I airbrushed to blend it to the brown silk. There is a black stretch panel on either side, to mimic the mesh panel on the corset and give movement to the fitted design. The skirt has a tulle petticoat, made entirely from pre-cut strips that I rescued from being thrown away. Both the corset and lower part of the skirt are lined with stash fabric.

I tried to be especially conscious of my material choices for this project. I had to juggle it alongside unpredictable deadlines at work, so I gathered my materials slowly over the course of a few months. Ultimately I still had to buy a few things new when I started sewing, but overall I’m pleased with how much of the design was made from repurposed, scrap, and stash elements.


Materials Used

Red silk dupion, poly organza, and other red scraps – destashed by a fellow costumer
Thin black coutil – stash fabric
Black corsetry mesh and powernet– remnants
Organza flower petals – remnants from previous corset
Beads and pearls – stash
Lace – remnants from other projects
Brown ribbed silk – warehouse remnant (stash fabric)
Red and purple tulle – new
Viscose corset and skirt lining – stash fabric
7mm spiral and flat steel boning
5mm eyelets
Cotton twill boning tape


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

I find the Foundations Revealed Competition to be a great "reason" to make something beautiful and extravagant, simply because I want to. The competition, and the group as a whole, is a little corner of the world where you are encouraged to pursue your interests, experiment with new ideas, and are supported through the whole process. It's incredibly freeing to make something with the knowledge that a whole community will be there to back you up, whether you want friends to celebrate your victories with you, or need encouragement when things don't go to plan. If you're thinking about entering, you should absolutely do it. You'll never know the things you can accomplish until you try, and there's no better place to try than in a group like this.


So beautiful!!
Absolutely gorgeous <3
This is one of the most beautiful garments I've ever seen.
I am awestruck
I'm awestruck, thank you for sharing, your work is absolutely beautiful
Beyond stunning! I love your gradations in color, the shape, the mesh inset... everything! I always love seeing your work-- hopefully I'm not an annoying fangirl!
I don’t know much about corset-making, but I can tell that your entry was beautifully thought out and executed. Not only is the technique flawless, but the costume itself is not tacky (as many costumes often become, with cheap looking materials or unflattering shapes/color-combos), and the end result is elegant and luxurious!! Your entry is definitely my favorite out of everyone’s!!
I recognised your work immediately from your entry last year (which was positively swoon-worthy!) You have such a distinct design style, it’s wonderful.
Absolutely stunning! I love the use of the mesh front panel, especially paired with the flower border! It’s a unique a gorgeous piece
kitty mortensen
That ombre is gorgeous, and I love the black mesh front panel along with the flowers. You nailed it
Lina, it's a beautiful piece of work. The whole composition is so flattering and extremely moody. Well done.
I am completely in love with this corset and it is stunning on you. Your use of colour and shape and transparency is incredible and inspiring.
Absolutely gorgeous! I love the story behind your design, and the thought put into the gradient of embellishments and colour down the outfit.
Lovely color, beautiful shape, all around gorgeous and creative!
Meri Pinyol
I saw on instagram some process pics, but after see now the final work I think it's more incredible, I love it!
Beautiful and edgy. The design intention follows through the whole project. I love the ombré and the flower accents, what a great way to use beautiful scraps.
What a gorgeous design, Lina!
That corset has turned out so beautiful and the colours and shapes work really well together. I really enjoyed your entry, thank you for sharing it with us!

Such a stunning creation! The silhouette is so dramatic!! I love it!
Oh my gosh Lina those colours!! And the shaping is stunning - fabulous.
Beautiful, Iove it all, the shape you've achieved is lovely. I made an oooh when I first saw this.

Beautiful fit and colour scheme, with such thoughtful detail in the flowers and "seeds". I really love how your corset tells the story of your inspiration!
I adore this piece and haven't been able to stop thinking about it - the colours seem almost other-worldly, so darkly rich, and the textures are just sumptuous. The silhouette is just wonderful and the fit is terrific. I loved reading about your process. Beautiful work!
marloes dadswell
Such a lush design, and this colour pallet is so divine! I adore the inspiration you have taken and the magical outfit you turned that into.
Fantastic construction and brilliant magpie-like renewal that would otherwise be thrown away! the textures and colours represent Persephone perfectly
This is just beyond gorgeous!! The flower color palate is so beautiful, and blends very well (but not too much!) with the colour of the main fabric. The fit is also bang on!
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