FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
The Prince and the Pauper
Outline the story …
I have a stupid habit from my deep childhood, I love to return over and over again to my favourite movies, series, games, concerts, and of course books. Someone will consider it a waste of time, but for me it is a point of power and research of myself. I’m deeply convinced that one can step in the same river twice, because people change really dramatically sometimes. And it’s fantastic how much perception varies from time to time. One of such books that follows me my whole life is Mark Twain's “The Prince and the Pauper”. When I was a child, I was mesmerized by fine illustrations by the Merited Artist of Russia Anatoly Itkin (I shared them in my instagram). I’m sure that these detailed historically accurate pictures influenced my current passion for corsetry and historical recreation among others.
My beautiful model embodies two characters of this novel at the same time, whose destinies are closely intertwined, Tom Canty, a pauper who lives his difficult life on Pudding Lane in London, and son of Henry VIII of England, Edward Tudor, the Prince of Wales. They looked like twins and switched places by accident. I tried to play with this duality in our photoshoot. Ornaments on the corset refer to the recognizable patterns of the Tudor dynasty. Each portrait of Henry VIII recreates the same lines every single time, so I replicated them in my design. I prepared four embroidered panels on each hip and one along the top edge.
Outline the construction…
I tried to achieve the luxury look of the royal costume, so silk velvet was the choice. For the same purpose works color combination of powder pink, scarlet red and pink gold. Corset is made of soft corsetry mesh covered with the thinnest dotted tulle — truly delicate but tricky combination. To accentuate features of Tudor era fashion, I needed a construction with separate hip panels. So my choice fell on ref E drafted by Joëlle Verne from Atelier Sylphe. And this part was one of the most challenging. Original pattern has measurements 102 cm in bust and 75 cm in waist. I did some serious alterations to make it work for my model, and I love how dramatic the silhouette turned out.
Another thing that changed really strongly is the result of my work in comparison with the first sketches. I had an intention to make a garment fully covered with velvet relief, but all the trials didn’t satisfy me. Moreover, the main idea was to recreate puffed sleeves of Tudor period in hip panels of the corset. But it made my corset look rather masqueradish than kingly, so in the last two days before the deadline I made a volitional decision to refuse the conceptual part of my entry and leave it plain and boring but delicate and couture. As a finishing touch I used my most favourite trick of all times — invisible flossing, this time in viscose thread. And a crown brooch as a charming accessory.