Alex Bradley

(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

'From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them, and that is eternity.' Decay represents a huge part of the natural world and a vital part of the natural cycle - without decay nothing can grow, and it feeds the forests and wild places of the world. The materials for this are natural as much as possible - anything synthetic was from my stash, and can largely be harvested and reused for other projects. I based the design around the full cycle of decay - some of my original ideas were more abstract, focussing more on the layers of a forest floor, but I ended up on a more specifically human design as I looked more into green death practices and body disposition. The end result is a bare ribcage intertwined with flowers, and layers of roots reaching down through the darkness of the soil.

Outline the construction…

The top half of the fully lined bodice is self drafted, but the lower half is a pre-existing corset pattern sliced in half. The ribcage was drawn on a mock up then cut out to make sure the angles would work out correctly - this is raw edged muslin sewn over bleach painted on to the canvas base layer. I did several material and texture tests and this produced the most impactful result as I didn't want the edges to be smooth and clean. The flowers are appliques from an embroidered lace chosen to match the tone of the corset fabric. I tried to pattern match on the corset were I could, but didn't realise how hard that is on curved seams until it was sewn together!
The skirt is made of three layers with an elasticated waist to reduce wastage and increase the surface area for the 'roots'. The top layer is tulle, with a cotton cord sewn on and unravelling as it goes down - this was overall far too light originally and threw the proportions and shape of the entire outfit off, so I sewed a channel around the bottom and threaded a chain through for weight. The second layer is chiffon with the design sewn with a zigzag stitch of varying width, and the base layer is cotton jersey with the pattern painted on in bleach.




  1. Avatar Desirée Desirée Holmberg on April 27, 2023 at 7:09 am

    I’ve been itching to make a ribcage bodice for a while now and this just sealed the deal! Absolutely stunning and, ironically, it’s giving me LIFE!

  2. Avatar Christiane Christiane Edel on May 2, 2023 at 5:17 pm

    Love the concept!

  3. Avatar Angela Karl on May 3, 2023 at 9:12 pm

    Certainly a show stoper!

  4. Avatar Anna-Catherine Sendgikoski on May 7, 2023 at 6:25 pm

    Nice idea and so brilliantly executed! Beautifully done!

  5. Avatar CC Page on May 8, 2023 at 5:13 am

    I LOVE this! What a beautiful concept, and I think you pulled it off brilliantly. I don’t understand how the top works, but it looks great, and I love the ragged edges on the ribs, as well as the flower applique winding up from the corset.

  6. Avatar Joey on May 15, 2023 at 7:13 am

    Has a real feel of Frida Kahlo about it. Organic and visceral.

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