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The 2020 Competition is now over.
The 2021 Theme will be chosen by our Members in April!

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 Shedding Snake Shedding Snake

Shedding Snake Shedding Snake

Shedding Snake Shedding Snake


Shedding Snake

Jeske van der Meijs

IG: mypoppycouture

Modeled by me @mydivinepoppy. Photography by @maasfotografie


The Design

When I read the theme ''renewal'' it felt like the competition came at the right time in my life.

I have recently found out that I have a chronic illness and I feel that it forced me to renew myself. I needed to change my outlook and goals and I wanted this contest to be a part of that process.

My mind instantly went to the process of a shedding snake. The snake is no longer comfortable in its own skin and will leave that part behind him, just like how I now need to leave a part of myself behind me.

It will still be the same snake but now he has room to grow. This thought gave me some comfort in a difficult moment.

For my entry I wanted to renew myself and I chose to do everything in a new way. For example I drafted the pattern in a way I never tried before and about 75% of the corset is sewn by hand. I have little experience in this and usually try to avoid having to do this.

I hadn't touched a needle in over a year because I felt the grief of my health holding me back in doing what I wanted. With entering this contest I forced myself to find a way to renew myself and fall in love with making corsets all over again.


The Construction

For the pattern I wanted to use a different method then I am used to. I taped myself in and outlined all my bones to know where I could squish and reduce the pattern.

Usually I draw a basic pattern and adjust that. Changing this method made it difficult to be precise but it also resulted in the most comfortable garment I've made so far. The toile fitting went smoothly and I only had to make small changes.

After I cut the pattern pieces, I tried roll pinning for the first time and I basted the layers together by hand.

After stitching them together I covered the seems up by hand with a satin ribbon. For the first time I created my own cups (instead of re-using a bra).

I tried many different materials that I wanted to create the snake-like look. The plastic and scale-shaped leather I cut just made it look like a cheap costume. I then came across a lace I found in Paris. The petals of the flowers felt like a similar shape to the scales of a snake. The lace as a whole created the shed skin effect perfectly without it being too literal.

I stitched on the boning channels, cut and tipped the bones, finished the edges with bias tape and hand sewed more ribbons on to cover up all seams. I placed the lace applique I had cut and added hot fix gems. The lace I draped and stitched in place to form the cape.

Mood board: https://www.instagram.com/p/B8GiGAFHRk0/


Materials Used

Black coutil, nude coutil, black ribbon lacing, nude satin ribbon, black satin bias tape, nude cotton ribbon, white cotton ribbon, white lace, ''black diamond'' hot fix stones, flat steal boning, spiral steal boning, foam/fabric to make cups, extra strong silver zipper, silver eyelets and washers, white thread, nude thread, black thread.

kitty mortensen
I love how the scales are implied, it serves the piece elegantly. Absolutely amazing
Looooooove this! The texture is so wonderful. Thanks for sharing your story and being brave.
So stunning... I adore your concept and your materials. Beautiful job!
I love the concept, and the cups, and the story behind this !
I wish I could zoom in some more. Its so beautiful Jeske.
This is extraordinary! I love how evocative the design is of your inspiration material—the textures and bold pattern you used really do bring to mind the pattern and scaling of a snake!
Joy R.
I want a ballet based around this corset! The supple lines you've created with the lace would clearly look stunning when moving in a ballet. What a great design!
Having looked through all of the entries (at all levels), I can confidently say that your creation speaks to me as most fully and creatively fulfilling the theme. I absolutely love it. And the details! You've got an incredible concept, and have executed it perfectly.
This is completely gorgeous! You’ve done a marvelous job!
This is an absolutely beautiful corset, and a lovely story. Well done!
Jeske van der Meijs
Thank you all for your lovely and encouraging words!
I am very grateful to participate amongst these great designers.
To read such feedback feels amazing

Gorgeous concept, works wonderfully and so beautifully clean finished inside!
I really love the placement and texture of the lace. Also, I didn't realize initially that the seams aren't horizontal. The construction of this is phenomenal.
The interpretation of the theme into a major event in your life is very moving. I'm reminded of a quote from The Doctor, "We’re all different people all through our lives. And that’s OK, that’s good, you gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be."
This is an amazing piece of art in my opinion. I love the concept and the way everyting is put together. I can see the snake shedding.
Great details and secure work.

I was really impressed when I saw the pictures of your entry, but then I got even more drawn in by reading the background story behind your design. It seems to be such a personal piece and it's incredibly inspiring to see that you could translate your own situation into something that beautiful.
Perfect interpretation of the theme and great design and execution!

Such a nice interpretation of the theme! I was really impressed when I first sw the pictures, such a classy image! The lace details are just gorgeous!
Sounds like lots of 'firsts' tried here - and to wonderful effect. It is truly a stunning piece.
I connect so much with your story. Creativity has been my way of dealing with my chronic illness. it has been an absolute strength to connect with myself, people, passions and deep desires, it has also been a totally pain in the ass. But all in all I love the life I have today, and the art I now make, and the art I am going to make in the future <3 Well done. and I am so happy that you had this opportunity to connect your personal journey with creativity ety. To me that connection has been a lifesaver. I wish you all the best for the future and your journey. Xoxo
I really enjoyed reading about your personal reasons for creating this entry. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. Your work is stunning, and the way you executed your design ideas turned out beautifully.
I'm in love with all this embellishment, with the constructuion, with the story behind, fantastic work!
Elegance! The shape of the corset and it's neckline is beautiful. Love the interpretation of the theme.
I love the pattern you used! I went over to your instagram, and only there I saw hoe intricate the pattern is. It is so complicated and all the top stitching is just amazing. You did a greate job and your personal story makes it all the more impressive.
marloes dadswell
I love the concept and you have really brought it to life. So well-executed and I absolutely love seeing the inside being so well made too.
Absolutely stunning in every sense!

As an avid snake lover, I'm in LOVE with this idea! And seems a good match to your background story, quite powerful.
Such a beautiful corset, inside and out!

It's a beautiful corset, and it's so good to see how creating can help during difficult times.
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