La Trava Valencia by Erin Card       La Trava Valencia by Erin Card

 

La Trava Valencia by Erin Card

 

La Trava Valencia by Erin Card      La Trava Valencia by Erin Card

 

La Trava Valencia by Erin Card

 

 

La Trava Valencia

Erin Card, USA (Ampersand Creations)

IG: Ampersand15

Model: Lesia Michelle

Photography: Torre Neal of WeNeals Photography

 

The Design

My bones were made for this competition. I am a self-taught hobby corsetier and seamster, but I have seven years of architecture school under my belt and more in design and practice. I have a love for organic, yet intentional shapes, so it was an easy choice to draw my inspiration from Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. His designs for the Lisbon Oriente Station, the World Trade Center Depot (Oculus), and the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia directly influenced the engineering and grace of my corset design. The columns, the way lines flow into each other, and the way his architecture seems to leap away from the ground and curve back in are invigorating and inspirational. The name, “La Trava Valencia”, refers to both the home of Calatrava, and the binding nature (roughly shackles, in Catalan) of the corset.

The first thing I knew, after deciding on my architecture inspiration, was that the corset had to be white, and had to be mesh so that the bone casing and appliqué lines were truly the structure and everything else was secondary. I had my friend Lesia model for me -- her very dark complexion, bald head, and impeccable posing ability were the ideal canvas for this project and she NAILED IT. I chose to shoot downtown Denver as the backdrop for this bit of architecture-meets-fashion, using the Colorado Convention center as the backdrop. My photog friend Torre has a keen eye and captured my piece with perfect composition.

 

The Construction

The first corset pattern I ever drafted (Batman Returns Catwoman) had the exact form I wanted. Unfortunately, that pattern has vanished, so I purchased one very similar from Ralph Pink (cheat victory!). I modified the pattern to fit my model and altered the top to peak over the cup.

Bobbinet and exterior bone casing were foreign techniques, so after asking key questions of some talented friends, as well as joining FR and reading up, I felt ready to go, but still nervous. The bone casing covers edges are satin bias. The boning itself is a combination of 1/2" steel, 1/4" flattened spiral, and 1/4" plastic, depending on the location. Everything is top-stitched using my vintage 1970s machine, as my nicer one has been in the shop for the entirety of this project! White 00 grommets and double satin ribbon close openings.

My husband modeled the columns for the hip fins for me based on a sketch I made. We then 3D printed them in ABS, and I used an acetone vapor bath to smooth and shine. I drilled holes in each of the legs, and they’re attached to the hips with screws and washers going through the mesh as needed. The top rail is white steel boning I punched holes into, and screwed on. The screws were painted in white enamel to look like structural rivets.

I had to work slow and methodically, and engineer things in the right order, to make this all come together right!

 

What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?

Holy crap. Do it. Deadlines are scary. But stay scared and do it anyway.

 

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galadriel
Oh my goodness, this is a very complex piece and it is executed perfectly! Well done, I am very jealous of your skills.
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aeryn21
Thank you!!
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curvylinea
Gorgeous job!
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aeryn21
Thanks!
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Holy crap, this is amazing! You have a great eye for details and lines. This also reminds me of a public building in Madrid that came up in my research. I might have to see if it was by the same architect! Brilliant job!
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aeryn21
Did you ever find out if it was the same? <3
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equinoxxlatex
I adore these hip fins. Always wanted to play with 3D printing :)
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aeryn21
It's great! Hubby and i decided to spend wedding monies on a printer instead of going towards a honeymoon. BEST PLAN. <3
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jema
Glorious photoshoot pictures! stunning! incredibly complicated pattern shapes from the mesh and I am so impressed by the 3d modelling and genuine architectural elements riveted to the hips -this is really fusing art and construction in the absolute best way, terrific work :)
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aeryn21
Thank you! I had a ton of fun with the architectural engineering behind this. <3
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royalblack
Your entry immediately caught my eye and your background in architecture shows for sure!
The lines look striking and I adore the 3D printed hip detail. Wow - definitely one of my favourite entries this year!

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lyrisdesign
Just wow, I love the complexity and the amazing lines, and especially the incredible hip fins.
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aeryn21
Thank you! The hip fins were tricky, but turned pretty well. <3
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Hilary
This is phenomenal work, and perfectly embodies the spirit of an architectural corset. It is breathtaking, inspiring, and the model looks amazing in it. I love that everything that's there is beautiful, and there's nothing really gratuitous in the visual of it to clutter up the structure, yet at the same time it's gloriously complex. It deserves to be on display.
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kitty mortensen
I'm screaming! This piece is so magical, the hip fins gives me life. I'm so exited! Your craftsmanship, your lines - I am so in love with your entry <3
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Jennifer Usher
This is SERIOUSLY COOL!! I'm in love! The way you shaped the hip fins, and used the combination of 3D printed sections and old fashioned nuts and bolts... just, wow!!! And your model is taking no prisoners! Gorgeous work!
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aeryn21
Thank you so much! And yeah, Lesia killed it. Doesn't look nearly as cool on the mannequin as it does her. <3
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elly_morris
This is absolutely gorgeous and so clever. It's really smart. Love it!
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bernadettebanner
This is astounding! So clean and precisely done; I can most definitely see your architecture training shining radiantly through your work here!
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rebecca_robinson
Absolutely love the 3D elements of this, so crisp and clean
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aeryn21
Thank you!! <3 I'm glad it came through as such. XD
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lithillify
This is incredible! I love it, especially those hip fins. Just stunning!
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aeryn21
Thank you!! <3
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lemieux
Those hips! I imagine a little roller coaster moving over them. This corset is fun and so creative.
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ggis
What a construction, amazing interpretation of the contest theme, fantastic job!
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chesla
Yay!! Another Calatrava inspiration! I'm loving your 3D printed hip fins!! :) x
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Oh dear, this is beautiful! All the lines and curves and the architectural hip pieces. Love it! I am totally amazed about the tiers and how they turn in the middle, such a delicate detail <3 And I envy your 3d printing skills, so cool! ^_^
It is an outstanding piece and so elegant. And I totally get you with the "organic but intentional shape", I love that too.
You did a wonderful job here, you can be so proud!
And you model rocks! <3

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theperfecttouchvictorian
Such a complex construction done with amazing ability. Truly inspiring!
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It is astounding, beautiful and innovative. Fantastic work !
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It sounds like this was the perfect theme for you! What a rocking corset. No room for errors on here and you've done an incredible job. Love the use of the 3d printing as well. And high five to your model, it takes guts to stand out in the city like that!
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paulay71
Wow, amazing work! Love the shaping you've achieved.
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lcostigliolo
Your work is absolutely gorgeous. It looks so wonderful next to the glass building! One of my favourite pieces!
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marloes dadswell
Everything about this entry sings to me! Stunning design with such brilliantly innovative sculptural components and lines, gorgeous powerful model. Fabulous!!!
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I think you said it perfectly yourself - the corset's structure is the main topic and together with the model and the background it just makes such a stunning piece of art!
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kat_simpson
Fantastic. Love all the lines and the effect created ontop of the sheer! Well done
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peacecat3
Amazing. Meticulous. Wild. Inspiring. How super-groovy that you have architectural background!!
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aeryn21
Hngggggg Thank you friends!!! I'm gonna reply to everyone still. <3
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