FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Priestess of Dagon, Father of the Deep Ones
Outline the story …
My creation is an interpretation from one of my favorite H.P. Lovecraft Novels : "The Shadow over Innsmouth". It's the story of a young man, a bit too curious, discovering the horrific truth about humans matching with Deep Ones (horrible humanoids sea creatures) to have immortal children, gold, jewels and plenty of fish.
I wanted to create a corset of a Priestess of the Esoteric Order of Dagon with jewelry, pearls, seaweeds and, above all, the big and immobile eyes of Father Dagon and the Deep Ones. I fell in love with the interpretation of Dagon by the artist Trufanov who was the main inspiration for the eyes and gills design. Because Lovecraft has a tendency to sexism (among other oppressive ideas), I wanted my Priestess to be sexy and powerful instead of a submissive victim without strength or will.
The aesthetic of the Lovecraft Cosmogony is very chaotic so I wanted to create something asymmetrical. It was thrilling to work around the beauty in ugliness and horror. Because Dagon and the Deep Ones are creatures of the see, I tried to create very organic embroideries with greens and earth tones. My inspiration for the embroideries comes from Michele Carragher work (Game of Thrones Embroiderer) for the seaweeds embroideries and Michele Clapton (Game of Thrones costumiere) for the dragon scale smock. For the eyes and gills, I was inspired by the amazing work of Fistashka.
Outline the construction…
I used a pattern from Sparklewren (Underpinning Museum) with very deep cleavage and oversized hips for a very graphic effect.
My corset is made out of a changing taffetas, coutil and 32 flat and spiral baleens for a strong structure. I tried a lot of new techniques for this project. I began with the dragon scale smock that I've ironed flat for a fish skin effect.
Then the eyes and gills for which I used a technic inspired by Fistashka embroideries. I used glass beads (I had some of them since my teenage years ;) ). It took me more than 30 hours.
The taffeta was fragile so it was a bit challenging to use it on the corset without destroying it, so I accepted and used this fragility as patina. The seaweed embroideries were also a first for me. I did a lot of research about Michele Carragher's work. The youtube channel "Taking time with Tasha", who learned with Michele Carragher at the London Embroidery School, helped me a lot. I used embroidery thread mixed with artificial gold thread, wire mesh ribbon, miyuki beads, glass beads, plastic beads and mixed colors fake pearls. I used a color palette of old gold, pink and purple. Emiah's tutorial about beaded corsets helped me a lot to manage embroideries between baleens and through strong fabric layers.
Through all those steps, I had the Game of Thrones Costumes book open on my desk, as well as the Waisted Creation book.