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Pink Princess, Goddess of Spring
Outline the story …
Inspired by Rachel Smythe's reimagining of the "Taking of Persephone," I designed Pink Princess, Goddess of Spring based on Persephone from the web comic "Lore Olympus". It’s a modern take on the Greek mythos. With a stunning mixture of fashion, technology, and drama, it invites us to take a new look into the lives of the Gods. Quickly introduced is Persephone--a young god, new to the Olympus scene. Living on her own for the first time, we follow her journey through the ups and downs--navigating daily life as well as extraordinary circumstances (getting lost in the Underworld, anyone?). Visually vivacious, I was inspired by her lush pink tones, curvy lines, and her innate ability to create plant life.
Partnered with my love for this series, I am also an avid houseplant enthusiast. That’s putting it lightly. I have almost 150 houseplants that I tend to. One of my favorites is a plant called Pink Princess Philodendron. This plant has dark green, elongated leaves with splashes of bubblegum pink and minty green. Some leaves even lack the green variegation and are mostly pink. These fun, fresh colors seemed to go hand in hand with Persephone--shy, but flush with the bright joy of new experiences. I was inspired to incorporate this plant into my design of the Goddess of Spring using unique, variegated leaves, aerial roots made from sequin trim, terracotta-colored shoes, and water-dipped cape to complete the planty ensemble. My Persephone is the Pink Princess, Goddess of Spring.
Outline the construction…
Bringing strong linework into the design, I created a sweetheart plunge corset. To suit the sensuality of the art, I hand-dyed nylon horsehair to match my complexion, creating a nearly sheer illusion. The corset consists of two layers of horsehair with matte satin channels and is based on an 18-piece pattern by Kaitlyn McClain of KMKDesignsllc. She assisted with fittings and weighed in on alterations of two test garments. The final product posed challenges mostly in spatial constraints--shaping leads to very small dimensions at the waist and each double channel had to be carefully squeezed in.
To create the skirt, I started with a 2/3 circle base and layered in 55 distinct leaves. I used photographs of real Pink Princess plants to recreate their signature patterning. The satin leaves are two shades of pink with burgundy undersides. Reclaimed leather from a free couch with mint green vinyl forms the variegation. It sits on a cage crinoline made from twill tape and half-inch steel boning.
Since no royalty is truly complete without a cape, Persephone wears one made of silk chiffon. Asymmetrical with one draped sleeve that flows into the straight drop of the cape on the other side, it’s gathered onto a ribbon for stability and hooks onto the corset. Hand-dyed, the subtle softness of the signature pink starts at the top and flows to white and then blue, a nod to the snow of Demeter, the blue of Hades, and the life that comes with the spring melt.