FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
The Latin Quarter
Outline the story …
Bohemians of the Latin Quarter or Scènes de la vie de bohème is a collection of short stories about a collection of young bohemians living in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Most notably used as inspiration for the opera La Boheme, it documents the adventures and misadventures of a crew of young dreamers, artists and idealists through the Belle Epoque and the universal state of artists.
I chose to create a look for the character Musette. Throughout the book she is described as a floozy and a girl who sleeps with many men to get what she wants and needs. However in my reading of the original text, I found her to be a far more sympathetic character. I created a look that was intentionally lavish and ostentatious as I figured she would have convinced her rich lover to buy her this look and she would basically take anything she can get.
I chose to base the look in the year 1898, however for this character I specifically designed the look to be ever so slightly out of date, to show how she is not naturally fashionable and prefers large and extravagant looks to strictly fashionable ones.
Outline the construction…
I wanted to try to use as many natural fiber fabrics as possible, and I am really happy with the range of fabrics I used. I used cotton voile for the chemise, a cotton drill for the corset and a cotton calico for the first skirt. I used a striped silk taffeta for the underskirt, which I tried to chevron, but as you see, I messed that up a bit. I used a worsted wool for the skirt and jacket, which I bought from Burnley & Trowbridge, along with the striped silk for the underskirt.
I used a combination of modern and Victorian drafting and sewing techniques, with a goal of making the look both Victorian and modern at the same time. I used a drafting style from the Keystone Jacket and Dress Cutter for the skirts which I used for the petticoat, underskirt and skirt and draped the jacket shapes on the dress form. I finished the skirts in a more traditional Victorian way i.e. felled and French seams. I finished the jacket in a more modern way, fully lining and bagging out. I finished most everything with hand sewing.
I wanted to push myself with this look and really focus on the finishing of the pieces and I'm really happy with how I've done that, especially with my first try with most of these techniques such as felling and flat lining.