The Lady of the Fallen Leaves



Nin Raden


(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Photos by Maxime G.

Outline the story …

The Lady of the Fallen Leaves is going to the ball...

Why does the leaves start falling at the end of the summer ? Why are the trees stripped to their bare trunks during the cold season ?
It's a tribute to the Lady of the Fallen Leaves, so she can wear a beautiful golden gown to the ball.

In Brittany where I live, the natural world is very closely linked with the little people, the fairies, pixies and "korrigans". They usualy live in the woods and they take care of the plants and the trees.

I wanted to make a ball gown inspired by the forest in autumn, the golden season. A ball gown to dance under the watch of sleeping trees, with the fairies, and the pixies and the korrigans, waiting fo the sun to shine brightly in its full glory again.

Outline the construction…

I had this beautiful embroidered golden silk that has been waiting around on a shelf for ages (you know the story haha), and I wanted to turn it into a late victorian inspired ball gown. When I saw this year's theme was the natural world, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to finally create a dress inspired by the woods in autumn.

The thing is, I had planned to match this golden embroidered silk with a dark brownish red silk muslin (I was a bit short on fabric !), but they had absolutely nothing in common. And I felt the muslin was a bit off with the embroidered silk.

But I finally remembered I had some silk thread I bought a long lime ago in a charity shop matching the color of the muslin, so I did (quite) a bit of hand embroidery !

I learned to sew and make garnments with my grandmother. I had made a few historical garnments before, mainly early medieval and 14th century, but it was the first time I made a full ball gown. I used a french drafting method from the 1890's as a guide.

The main challenge in this project was the time. It's very hard for me to estimate the time it will take me to do anything.
And it took forever to embroider all the leaves by hand with the silk thread matching the muslin, but I'm really happy with how it turned out !




  1. Avatar Christiane Edel on May 5, 2023 at 10:02 am

    Love the design and the colours, just beautiful!

    • Avatar Virginie Nin Raden on May 5, 2023 at 3:50 pm

      Thank you very much!

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