FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
All for One
Outline the story …
My first thought when discovering this year's theme was immediately The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. This work being an endless source of inspiration to me, it was only natural to use it for my first ever Foundations Revealed entry.
Even more than the book itself, the character of Athos has always struck me from the beginning. He is the epitome of elegance, dignity and assertiveness. The regal sense emanating from this character led me to choose exquisite materials.
Athos is also characterized by his simplicity, a kind of quiet nobility that can come from the simplest designs. He doesn't need elaborate details or accessories to assess his power and natural authority. This simplicity led me to focus on only a few fabrics and a clear color scheme : royal blue and gold for the Musketeers uniform, plus black as a hint for Athos's dark side.
Indeed, the shift below the vest is completely black, representing the depth of the character, being deeply flawed with remorse, culpability and addiction. His outsides really outshine his comrades but inside he is actually pretty dark and broken.
The idea behind the whole design was to turn the historical Musketeers uniform into a modern one, so the cape became a voluminous hood, hip fins were made into a swords harness, and the iconic Fleur-de-Lys was inserted in the back so that it can be easily hidden when the hood is up.
Outline the construction…
As I said, I focused on only a few materials which were Silk Velvet, Poly-cotton blend for the lining, Cotton Batiste and lace for the shift.
The base of my concept was a hooded corset vest. I then decided to put internal boning channels and to construct both layers separately before stitching them together, so that the outside would be immaculate. I also added a waist-tape which was a new element to me, and I decided on a zipper front closure hidden by the blue layer and decorative fasteners.
I wanted the details to be simple yet effective so I decided on inserting hip fins made with golden fabric and rigilene boning. I also added a Fleur-de-Lys appliqué in the hood, made in the same golden fabric.
I then decided to finish the whole piece with silk velvet piping.
I used a Corset Vests tutorial by Barbara Pesendorfer to draft and fit the pattern.
The shift is also a self-drafted piece, constructed with French seams and lace inserted in the cuffs and collar seams.
The biggest challenge came from my choice of fabric : the silk velvet was a nightmare to cut, sew, press, etc. But in the end the results are here and I would never trade it for an easier material. Another challenge was the pattern I decided to draft, having never tried a corset vest before, and adding the hip fins, which were also a new technique I wanted to test out.