FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
The Crimson Reaper
Outline the story …
“The figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave. The mask which concealed the visage was made so nearly to resemble the countenance of a stiffened corpse that the closest scrutiny must have had difficulty in detecting the cheat. And yet all this might have been endured, if not approved, by the mad revellers around. But the mummer had gone so far as to assume the type of the Red Death. His vesture was dabbled in blood -and his broad brow, with all the features of his face, was besprinkled with the scarlet horror.”
When I first read the contest theme I didn’t know what to chose to represent it, then chatting about horror stories with my model while sipping a coffee, the idea hit me: “The Masque of the Red Death”! I love Edgar Allan Poe and that’s my favourite novel. But I didn’t want it to be a cosplay or a raw outfit: I wanted to represent the “Death” figure in a glamour and haute couture way. I wanted it to be scary, voluptuous, detailed and unique and I decided it doesen’t have to be a male, neither a female. So my friend and model Roberto was perfect to be the “death”, thanks to his experience as a drag performer.
To create the design I was inspired by haute couture designers like Dior, Alexander McQueen and Jean Paul Gaultier, but also sculpture by Sandra Sheehy and Lorenzo Nanni.
Outline the construction…
The outfit is composed by a corset, a shoulder piece and a mask.
The main garment is the corset. The foundation is composed by three fabrics: white hard mesh, red rebrodé lace and black chantilly lace to create the “decomposition” effect. I made the pattern on model measures but giving a more rounded shape on hips.
About the skeleton: ribs and spine are made with single stripe of paillettes sew on a cotton tape and then handsewn on the corset. Pelvic girdle is made with ivory cotton satin and i patterned it to give more roundness on hips. In three points there are wounds made with hand dyed red gauze, ripped and handsewn on the corset. To give more the idea of the blood I added different sizes of swarovski crystals and I create droplets with gems and red pearls. On hips there is a hand tea dyed cotton gauze, draped directly on the corset and handsewn, then ripped and stained in red. On the back, the corseted closure is made by the same Ivory cotton satin to simulate the spine that goes up to the neck.
To represent the shroud I used a polyester gauze fabric and stitch small channels to create a more “organic” effect. Then I stained in red it on bottom as the cotton gauze.
The mask was an optional, made out of a natural leather piece. Hand modeled with a half-skull shape and then hand painted in ivory.