Green Martha


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Outline the story …

A pretty thing of golden sand, transparent waters and treacherous rip currents, a baïne is a natural pool forming between a sand bank and the wide beaches of Gascony The idea to create a corset inspired by the landscapes of the Atlantic coast was born years ago in one of my notebooks, yet the final result is very different from the original design - the first iteration was a long, flowy, corseted dress with a train and a strong edwardian vibe. But as I went through my stash to gather every scrap of fabric and trim in sea and sand tones, I ended up with more turquoise and teal than green and gray, and a lot of small but glittering pieces. Brocade remnants inherited from fellow corsetieres, one square meter of organza and vintage lace doilies lead me to the idea of layering strips of textiles to evoke the tide moving back and forth on the sand, with beads and sequins glistening like water droplets. White silk organza swirls over the shoulders and across the corset front as sea foam between the saltwater and the shore, and the waves meander in a continuous pattern across the back lacing of the stays.
Rather than a fancy skirt, I chose to make wide-legged jeans, and worked with dye, bleach and a metal brush to create depth and texture on the denim. I paired the outfit with a metal striped silk blouse I made years ago.

Outline the construction…

2022 was the year when I finally decided to tackle drafting a pair of stays with the arc method. There was one mock-up, and some alterations to the coutil before I arrived to a version that I'm fairly happy with. I built the whole thing by machine in two layers of coutil, used a wide flat steel at center front, and synthetic whalebone everywhere else. I'm proud to say the stays give a nice shape and are extremely comfortable.
Once I was happy with the base, I applied pieces of fabrics (by hand, on two layers of already boned coutil) to create distinct areas of waves and sand. I discovered that I could make a nice approximation of the Atlantic waters by layering intentionally frayed silk brocade and bits of metallic silk organza that I rolled and crushed between my hands to give a wave-like pattern to the threads. Every fabric except the denim for the jean and one of the sand fabrics was a remnant from my stash.
I did however splurge on the beads, sequins and Italian wire mesh ribbon. Layering embellishments and textures is the kind of slow, finicky work that I love. I cut up and reassembled embroidery and lace appliqués, sewed beads upon sequins upon silk.
I draped organza on a frame of upcycled aluminium wire covered in a knit ribbon - making the shoulder piece light and removable was new territory for me, and ended up being deceptively simple.




  1. Avatar Sarah Sarah Coombs on April 26, 2023 at 10:05 pm

    Ohhh, the handwork/appliques/embroidery on that corset is EXQUISITE!

  2. Avatar Christiane Edel on May 5, 2023 at 10:53 am

    This is a piece of art!

  3. Avatar Maeri Maeri Certo on May 6, 2023 at 7:11 pm

    This is glorious!

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