The Furie Allecto



Stefanie McKnight


(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Photographer Carissa Corlett

Outline the story …

The Furies, or Erinyes, were three chthonic sister goddesses of justice and vengeance from Greco-Roman mythology. Their purpose was to extract divine retribution from those guilty of wrong-doing. When not punishing felons on earth, they lived in the underworld torturing the damned. I was inspired by the depictions of the Erinyes in the Aeneid written by Virgil, particularly Allecto, “mother of sorrows, up from her den where nightmare Furies lurk in hellish darkness…a joy to her heart, the griefs of war, rage, and murderous plots, and grisly crimes. Even her father, Pluto, loathes the monster, even her own infernal sisters loathe her since she shifts into so many forms, their shapes so fierce, the black snakes of her hair that coil so thickly.” The Furies are often depicted as dark furious creatures with attributes both from snakes and birds, “…wreathing all their heads with coiled serpents, fitting them out with wings that race the wind.” Common descriptors of Allecto in the Aeneid include: ruffling wings, slithering, screeching/shrieking, dreadful omen, lethal birds, lurking in the darkness, venomous. As a burlesque dancer my Allecto is designed for the stage. She is sexy, dangerous, and bold — this is shown by fierce shapes, clean lines and vivid colours. I wanted her to look dynamic and be able to slither between the lit and unlit parts of the stage. I did not want her to look worn-torn and bloody rather I wanted her to encapsulate what feminine justice and vengeance could look like.

Outline the construction…

Fabric: Reptile patterned stretch fabric. It shifts from green to purple, which represents Allecto’s snake attributes.
Corset: Constructed from fashion fabric fused to coutil. Pattern drafted in Adobe Illustrator using the Vanyanis drafting method. Lined with cotton.
Feather fans: I designed these in Adobe Illustrator and then sent the file to be manufactured by a local laser cutter. Fans represent Allecto’s bird attributes and provide the dynamic burlesque performance aspect. Made from 3mm black acrylic laser engraved with a reptile pattern and then infilled with glitter. Locally sourced byproduct pheasant feathers dyed with Jacquard Acid Dye in black/purple. Feather dyeing was not part of my plan — initially I purchased pre-dyed black feathers, however they were substandard.
Headdress: I designed the headdress in Illustrator. Cut from 3mm black and grey transparent acrylic, parts of it was engraved with the reptile pattern and glitter infilled. I started with cardboard prototypes and then iterated the design until I was happy with how it looked and fitted. To decorate I used a combination of reconfigured costume jewellery and Swarovski crystals.
Bra, thong, pasties: I drafted these in Adobe Illustrator and then imported them into my Cricut machine to cut out. They are decorated with nearly 2000 Swarovski rhinestones in a variety of sizes.
Hip chains: Black chain and crystals which I cascaded by using jump rings, parrot clasps, and rings sewn to the back and front of the thong.
Choker – bought and spray painted black
Finger claws – purchased from Forge Fashion




  1. Avatar Laura Holland on March 11, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    I love the headdress particularly.

    • Avatar Stef McKnight on March 14, 2021 at 9:41 am

      Thank you! It was definitely one of my favourite things to make.

  2. Avatar Daniela on March 12, 2021 at 8:21 am

    Absolutely stunning!

  3. Avatar Iona McKnight on March 12, 2021 at 8:42 am

    Wow!!! Beautiful! Great work and great photos.

    • Avatar Stef McKnight on March 14, 2021 at 9:42 am

      Thank you! Carissa is a visual genius. So happy to have her based so locally and so accomodating to my needs.

  4. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 8:59 am

    Brilliant! The video really shows all the amazing details of your entry- I ADORE that bra! Love this SO much!

    • Avatar Stef McKnight on March 14, 2021 at 9:43 am

      Thank you! Yeah that bra design has become a bit of trademark of mine in the burlesque scene in Wellington. I love the shapes so much and enjoy making it too.

  5. Avatar Sophronia Kear on March 12, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    I love the overall look and each component creates its own masterpiece and echos it’s own story! The detail and material choices give light and dark textures and is a show stopping statement. Strong, sexy powerful but feminine. Great work, love 💕 the concept and execution is flawless.

    • Avatar Stef McKnight on March 14, 2021 at 9:44 am

      Thank you! I love your comment as it highlights to me that the concept has been executed. I’m looking forward to the next project as I have something very cool planned.

  6. Avatar Carol Hughey on March 13, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    This is an amazing, evocative and strong. Really well done. The bra is an amazing design.

    • Avatar Stef McKnight on March 14, 2021 at 9:45 am

      Thank you! Evocative and strong are definitely words that make me happy to hear 🙂

  7. Avatar JAYE SUDAR on March 14, 2021 at 4:45 am

    Wow. The use of feathers and fabric is fantastic.

    • Avatar Stef McKnight on March 14, 2021 at 9:45 am

      Thank you! I find most of my work now incorporates feathers to the point where if I don’t use them I feel like something is missing!!

  8. Avatar Catherine Sutton on March 14, 2021 at 6:26 am

    All your elements come together so beautifully, and balance with each other. Stunning work!

    • Avatar Stef McKnight on March 14, 2021 at 9:46 am

      Thank you! Really appreciate your comment as I was absolutely blown away by your stays and your overall technique.

  9. Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 15, 2021 at 12:23 am

    A fascinating ensemble, perfectly suited to your chosen character! It reminds me somewhat of a mythical super-villainess of film in recent years; capable of divine retribution. And I think your self-dyed feathers are far more impressive and effective than straight black ones would have been.

    • Avatar Stef McKnight on March 19, 2021 at 7:24 pm

      Thank you! You’re right about the feathers — they had so much more depth than the substandard ones.

  10. Avatar Carly Van Groeningen on March 19, 2021 at 11:25 am

    What a great interpretation of your inspiration. I especially love the headdress!

    • Avatar Stef McKnight on March 19, 2021 at 7:26 pm

      Thank you! Really appreciate your comment. At one point I didn’t think the headdress was going to come together but thankfully it did.

  11. Avatar Phanuel Jagna Levinsen on March 20, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    Your headdress is amazing! And the chains really bring it into the design super well! Love how the inclusion of the shape of the underwire for the bust compliments the rest of the design, such as the shapes laser-cut for the fans, as well! Beautiful!

  12. Avatar Suzanne Egan on March 23, 2021 at 4:24 am

    While each component is simple and elegant in its design the overall effect is stunning. There is movement, there is both the reptile and bird elements captured perfectly. What a stunning ensemble!

  13. Avatar Maeri Certo on March 26, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    Fab job! I love mythology, and I love burlesque costuming so this is a treat!

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