FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
The Great Persephone
Outline the story …
My work is inspired by the story and the character of Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, the goddess of harvest and fertility. Persephone has been abducted by Hades, the god of the Underworld. The whole story is told in "The Homeric Hymn to Demeter", a long poem composed between 550 and 650 B.C. As she stayed in the Underworld, she ate a pomegranate and therefore she couldn’t return to the surface. Demeter was furious and let the crop die. Finally, Zeus decided that Persephone would spend six months with Hades in the Inferno and six months with Demeter on Olympus.
Persephone became the wife of Hades and Queen of the Underworld. During the six months that Persephone spent in the Underworld, Demeter was sad and these were the months of Autumn and Winter. Whenever Persephone went to Olympus, Demeter would be happy and the land would become fertile and fruitful. These were the months of Spring and Summer. This myth explains the change of the seasons, the eternal cycle of the Nature.
Outline the construction…
I felt very inspired by this myth and the paintings of Gustav Klimt. I designed a 1920s style coat, with many embroideries. I wanted to show the duality of Persephone. All those little flowers and plants remind me of the six months of blooming. Her dark Queen side is revealed in the shape of the collar and pyramids embroideries. And finally, closer to her heart, the body-corset with the pomegranate embroidery.
Although I went to sewing school and I worked as a costume maker for years, I have taught myself corsetry and embroidery. I had to buy new materials, but I managed to use plenty of supplies I already had. Most of the fabrics, beads, fur and boning are remains of other sewing projects and gifts from friends. I never made a body-corset before. I spend hours on the internet, watching finished body-corsets and trying to understand how to make one. I worked on the pattern during the second French lockdown, dealing with the fitting on myself, without any external help. That was a huge challenge but I learned a lot. I experimented working with new materials for my embroidery. I even designed a 3D embroidery. It pushed my skills on a brand-new level. This competition clearly took me out of my comfort zone.