projects in process

Vintage inspired underbust corset.

During discussions with a customer about merging some design elements that I have used in the past on previous, separate corsets and working them in to one garment, my mind raced with ideas and inspiration to combine these design aspects in to a new concept.

Although the ideas were coming thick and fast, approaching the finished product was not as simple.
I went back to basics and approached the design from an inspiration perspective, adding one
element at a time, seeing how the colours toned together. Initially I had used some deep burgundy elements which were just too over powering and washed everything else out.

I first thought of the burgundy because it had come up when I was experimenting with the rose appliqué quite some time ago. It had always looked quite stunning with the rose image but never seemed to quite work out with a garment as a whole, I had thought that maybe this time it would have a better effect but it needs to be worked in with some slightly different elements so for the time being, that concept will have to wait in the sidelines again.
The highlights in the rose appliqué made me lean towards paler colours, I was drawn to white and ivory to begin with but the white was too stark in contrast to the rest of the image and some of the other elements I tried to work in. I dropped the white for the time being and tried adding darker shades of ivory and cream. The difference this made to the overall effect was much more appealing.
There was one element that I did have to think very hard about, the very fine, delicate vintage lace running down the sides of the appliqué. It is hard to see in these pictures and it's one of those things where it doesn't show a lot when it is there but it definitely shows a lot when it isn't there so I left it in.
Having spread a huge variety of items across one of the design tables in the studio, I was well armed with vintage lace and buttons to add in, move around and re arrange to get the best feel.
Having decided on a full frame in lace to contrast and complement the lines of the corset, stage one is just about complete. The next stage is to decide on the rest of the corset. Originally I had intended to use hand aged and distressed calico for the outer layer but when it was all laid out on the design table, this crushed cotton had just the slightest apricot warmth to the colour which blended so well with the other elements and added a little more 'je ne sais quoi' to the overall feel so now the rest of the corset will be made with the outer layer of crushed cotton... Well, as soon as the tax returns are filed anyway!