The Moth corsets are my personal project for 2017/2018. Whilst the Butterflies are an opportunity to play with some richly opulent colours and embellishments (classics like black lace and sparkle), the Moths are intended as a cohesive collection of couture-level pieces that I hope to use in many photoshoots and possibly other projects (a book? an exhibition?) before finding them their forever homes.
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An overbust corset with smooth historically-inspired lines, made from a soft “mousey” silk duchesse. Embellishment to be discovered.
This colour is incredible.
Earlier this month, InaGlo and I were chatting about finally doing the equestrienne photoshoot that we’ve been dreaming of ever since we met. This spurred me into action and I dove into my box of moth corsets to see which ones I might like to work on first.
I narrowed it down to a selection of seven (shown to the right) and then managed to narrow it down to five. I think. I want to play with muted, neutral tones, made intricate by the addition of couture lace, metallic details, and so on. My moth corsets are all largely tonal and of a family, but this little pile is certainly the most cohesive amongst them.
Whilst Holly worked on Truffle, adding steels, finishing lower binding, and continuing lace appliqué, I scribbled ideas for the others and revisited my sketch books. I then began work on this piece, a beautiful and unusual shade of duchess.
The company sells it as “mouse”. I’ve spent all day looking at it and the longer I look the less accurately I can describe the colour. It is almost warm-grey. Not quite taupe. It’s too drab to be blonde, but too luscious to be drab. It has champagne overtones but it looks like it should be velvety to the touch. In the end, I’ve had to concede that “mouse” is the only way to describe it. Which then made me want to find a mouse-dun horse and dark-haired girl to shoot it with! But we will have to be happy with whatever we have available to us.
It is, however, a nightmare to capture the colour properly in small phone snaps… But hopefully, somewhere between all of these, you can get a sense of how delicate and shifting this beautiful tone is.
For the Mouse Moth, I want to dance between pale delicacy and dark opulence. A combination of palest dusty pink tones, perhaps some mother-of-pearl, with darkly faceted pyrite and burnished metallics.
Mouse is going to involve symmetry (as I feel most, if not all, of my Moth corsets will), intricacy, neutral muted tones, and dulled metallics. Think metal beads and pyrite stones. The silver and gold “rope” you can see to the right is a necklace that I’ve had for nearly a decade. The beads are cups that sit into one another with a central elasticated thread holding them together. It makes for a snake-like effect, which I think will work beautifully alongside “ropes” of fool’s gold. This piece will, I think, be very much akin to Pyrite and Unicorn from the “Where Angels…” collection, except I am hoping it will be even more faded and dusty looking. I’m considering rubbing some ashes from the stove into the silk, to see what happens. Which reminds me of a client I had years ago who said she liked a bit of dirt mixed in with the couture. Quite right, I quite agree.
With a 20.5″ closed waist and a tall 15″ front, the Elizabethan-inspired bustline (reminiscent of our Pyrite and Unicorn corsets) will create an elegant line with modest coverage. Sometimes you want a dramatic plunge or a swooping cleavage, and sometimes you want a simple silhouette as a base for interesting surface decoration.
Full measurements will follow at a later date. I cannot wait to really fall deeply into this corset.