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The Scarab by Kitty Krell    The Scarab by Kitty Krell   

The Scarab by Kitty Krell   The Scarab by Kitty Krell   

The Scarab by Kitty Krell


The Scarab

Kitty Krell, Colorado, USA  (Crimson Rose Corsetry & Couture Ltd)

Model: Kitty Krell
Photographer: Ginny Di


The Design

Last year, I watched the competition unfold with rapt attention. I'd thought about entering at the last minute, but nothing quite clicked. When this year's theme was announced, I jumped all over it. I knew I wanted to work with iridescent materials, and after thinking about butterflies initially, I decided to go almost exactly in the other direction. Instead of light and airy, I went dark, heavy, dramatic. I wanted to create a look that spoke to chitin, a hard exoskeleton and very sculptural. The scarab beetle became my starting point. After that, I worked to design an extremely sculptural ensemble with new materials I'd never worked with before.


The Construction

This ensemble features a seven panel overbust corset pattern that I've worked and reworked over the last six months. Five different corsets were made leading up to this final piece: three to refine the pattern, and two to test the material, a gorgeous holographic black vinyl. To push the cast of the ensemble more green, I added reversible sequin godets, scaled sequin appliqués, and actual beetle wings.

The skirt is a four panel mermaid skirt, with quarter circle godets between panels. Somehow, though the skirt was made from the same pattern as another skirt I've made recently, it wound up nearly 10" too small in the back! So I had to get creative. I decided to add a lacing panel to the back, and not only did it work better than my original plan, the gap wound up nearly perfectly matching the gap of the corset! The lining features about 50 yards of horsehair braid to help achieve the sculptural look I wanted, as well as having horsehair in the hem of the top layer aswell.

This was also my first time creating a posture collar! I wound up creating a point that rises in the front much like a stag beetle, which was a happy accident. The "wings" were custom varigated dyed emerald and blue, and all the brass scarabs featured were patinaed by hand!

More details on my blog


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 magical and stressful! It's always wonderful getting the chance to really push yourself, and this was an incredible opportunity to do that. You'll never know just what you're capable of if you don't push!

Claire Green
Love this! beautiful shaping, and fabric. Your use of the beetle wings is brilliant!
Sandy Baker
Ahhh, so shiny! It's stunning! Imo there is nothing so beautiful as iridescence and your desigb really uses it to best advantage
Your placement of the sequins and the beetle wings are gorgeous together!
Fabulously Opulent, and the underskirt construction is so very clever!
Gorgeous Kitty, so dramatic and powerful. I love it!
marloes dadswell
Sumptuous is the first word that springs to my mind when I look at this design. So stunning in every sense!
Such a dramatic shape, the construction of the skirt is fabulous!
Wowzer! I love your work Kitty - this ensemble is so dramatic and eye-catching. I'd love to see the expressions of passers-by if you walked down the street in this!
Wow a definite show piece! I love the placement of the sequins, really gives it amazing texture! Great work Kitty!

I totally love the dark and dramatic mood of your design, Kitty!
The sculptural shapes, the iridescent materials and different textures... all of this really speaks to me in so many ways. :)
You can be so proud of what you have achieved and I really enjoyed seeing this costume coming together in all the work in progress posts you shared with us.

Va-va-voom!! I LOVE the shape you've created here Kitty, it flows so beautifully up and down the body, and the luxury you've incorporated with the your choice of materials is delicious! Well done!
Just love the drama of your piece, the colours are delicious and the shaping in the skirt is gorgeous.
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