Our Lady of the Angels by Lucy Emke  Our Lady of the Angels by Lucy Emke 

  Our Lady of the Angels by Lucy Emke . 

  Our Lady of the Angels by Lucy Emke

Our Lady of the Angels by Lucy Emke

Our Lady of the Angels by Lucy Emke

  

 

Our Lady of the Angels

Lucy Emke, UK and Norway (Waisted Creations)

IG: waistedcreations

Model and photographer: Threnody in Velvet

 

The Design

My school had a Pugin chapel, built in 1901. The chapel – Our Lady of the Angels – is opulent and filled with gold, stained glass, and ornately carved dark wood. I took a lot of solace from the beautiful chapel, and I wanted to capture the style in my entry.

I went through a lot of different ideas for the design, a process I captured on my Patreon. In the end I decided to take a huge risk in a competition known for its innovative and inspiring entries and leave the corset unembellished. The pattern is inspired by Edwardian corsets to fit with the age of the chapel. The bust gores end in points. These are more subtle than my usual pointed top edges in order to emulate the gothic archways prominent in Pugin’s designs.

Pugin was well known for not only designing the buildings and interiors but all aspects of the churches and chapels he designed. From the incense burners, ciboriums, and patens to the vestments worn by the priests. It is extant Pugin vestments which eventually inspired my final design. I learned that opulence and intricacy are not always the same thing.

 

The Construction

I began by drafting my pattern. I think I achieved a modern take on swooping Edwardian lines.

I knew I wanted to use vestment fabric, and was delighted to find there is fabric with original Pugin designs. Unfortunately, it was hard to find fabric that wasn’t over $200/yard. In the end I found affordable fabric with was close to Pugin designs. When it arrived it was orange.

I persevered but my heart wasn’t in it. I tried adding an orphrey with a Pugin pattern, but it felt wrong, and I was devastated. My husband bought me the fabric I used for Christmas. This, and a kind donation from a member who wanted to see me succeed inspired me to retry.

The corset is a single layer of coutil fused to fabric (which I patternmatched) with handmade coutil boning channels covering interior seams. Binding was hand cut and sewn. I’ve shared here how I cut it. The skirt is also simply constructed.

It took a long time for me to accept the corset was worthy of entering. I think that embellishment is one of my strong points, but the corset did not feel right with anything added, it detracted from the lines. A big challenge was accepting that it looked better plain.

I have a large pair of wings so it would become a Pugin angel, but bad weather meant they were impossible to finish. It broke my heart, but I have already arranged a photographer for when they are finished.

 

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

I had a lot of fun with this year's theme, and it taught me to trust myself rather than panicking about using as many fiddly techniques as possible. The theme was very inspiring and took me out of my comfort zone.

To people who are on the fence I would say this: It is scary to put yourself out there this way, and I know it makes me feel vulnerable to think of people judging my work. No matter what your skill level, someone will look at what you have created and be full of wonder at what you achieved - just like you probably are at all the entries this year.

On a personal level, I think there has only been one year since the competition started when I haven't entered. I get to look back at my entries (way back when there were about ten in total!) and see just how much I have improved. A yearly "checkpoint" really helps you see how your skills have refined.

 

 

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galadriel
I'm commenting on my own entry because I commented on all the others cool
Thanks to everyone who took the time to look at my work, and an even bigger thanks to everyone that read all of my rambling explanation!

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Kimberley Burgess
Exquisite, Galadriel!
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clockwork_faerie
Lovely! What a story to this one...minimal design is so exposed, but you've been brave and pulled it off beautifully. Fantastic work.
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galadriel
Thank you. I nearly withdrew my entry, so getting positive feedback means a lot to me.
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I like your use of the ecclesiastical fabric, and rich colors. Nicely done! In clothing as in food, sometimes the simple things are just utterly delicious!
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galadriel
Thank you. I agree - sometimes less is more.
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equinoxxlatex
Stunning as always. And absolutely perfect without the embellishment :)
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galadriel
Thanks!
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ggis
I love the clean and laconic look of your corset and geometry of the whole outfit. And that patternmatching , oh my, fantastic craftsmanship!
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galadriel
Thank you. Part of the reason I left it plain is that I thought that the patternmatching itself was a kind of embellishment that was better admired without things over it.
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kitty mortensen
Thank you for entering, and thank you for sharing your downs as well <3 You are one of my heroes, and you always will be. your entry is amazing, and so are you <3
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galadriel
Thank you Kitty, I think your entry is incredible.
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royalblack
I also love the simple elegance that lets the fabric and pattern shine.
You have achieved such a beautiful fit and elegant curves and I think it was the right decision to leave it without embellishment.

P.S.: The picture of your pattern is a work of art on it's own! It should be framed and put on the wall!

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galadriel
Thank you. I really enjoy putting the patterns together digitally that way to build up a picture of how it will look, it helps me picture it in 3D.
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jema
Really striking - you totally made the right choice to let the pattern cut and fabric show your skill, It is so hard to make something that looks deceptively "simple" and do it perfectly. I think this is absolutely stunning work, and a well thought out dramatic photoshoot too x
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galadriel
Thank you very much :)
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lyrisdesign
Lovely work, so refined and elegant. I love your pattern matching!
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galadriel
Thank you. It took a while but with fabric like this is drives me crazy if it is misaligned.
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bernadettebanner
I bow to that pattern matching! Also I just love the shape of that neckline!
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galadriel
Thank you - I was going to do something more dramatic at the top edge but I ended up thinking subtlety was more appropriate than drama, for once!
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Simple, timeless elegance, clean design, and OMG the pattern matching !
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galadriel
Thank you so much!
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linapiprek
Your pattern matching is simply extraordinary. I think you've managed to perfectly show off both the fabric and cut of the corset by leaving it without extra decoration. It looks perfect, beautifully done.
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galadriel
Thank you very much
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I totally agree with your decision not to embellish this any further, it doesn't need it, it's beautiful as it and shows off the flawless shape and enviable pattern matching. Gorgeous.
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galadriel
Thank you. I think I finally understand the phrase 'gilding a lily' :)
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Lucy it is beautiful! I totally get you, sometimes it is really hard to let something clean, but I think it was the absolut right decision. It still is a stunner, as I admire and love plain, simple and clean corsets, where the devil is in the details and not in the obvious bling bling. The studs and the hip pieces would have been too much, the fabric is "busy" enough. I love your pattern matching, it is such a luxurious detail and so difficult to do in a beautiful way. The binding is perfect, I love seeing beautiful bindings, makes me unbelievable happy :)
Aswell as well chosen lines and a beautiful neckline :D And that SHAPE! <3 <3 <3

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galadriel
Thank you - your entry was my personal favourite this year so it means a lot to know you appreciate what I did, too :)
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chesla
Absolutely beautiful! The contrasting colours and silhouette, everything! :) x
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galadriel
Thank you so much :)
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lcostigliolo
Stunning work! The pattern matching is amazing!
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galadriel
Thank you Luca, I am really honored that you think so.
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paulay71
Perfection, really amazing I had a real wow moment when I saw it.
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galadriel
Thank you so much!
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theperfecttouchvictorian
Your story is both inspiring and heartbreaking. To have such an inspiration and not be able to see it through is so difficult, but your result is stunning! I look forward to seeing photos when you finish your dream photoshoot!
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marloes dadswell
Sleek, exquisite, gilded dreaminess. Those are the words springing to my mind! Fabulous!!
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