Added Nov 23, 2010
I was first intrigued by Toulouse Lautrec’s paintings of the dancers in the Moulin Rouge, but as I searched for images, I came across work from Degas with his beautiful ballerinas and found the colors very enticing. The more images of ballerinas I saw from the nineteenth century the more I loved the silhouette; the lush sleeves, tiny corseted waist and full blooming skirts. The painting of ‘The Prima Ballerina’ in her red costume by Comerre Leon Francois was a major source of inspiration in this garment.
I found ladies undergarment’s from the Civil War era to have a very similar shape in general to the ballerina costumes that I was drawn to. I used a traditional Civil War era corset pattern (which I altered a bit for fit and curve) and draped the rest of the garment on-form.
Hand-dyed Muslin, grommets, corset-busk. Thread-Gutterman.
I dyed two colors of muslin in each dye-bath (there was 4 or 5 dye baths), natural colored and tea-dyed. This gave me a lot more colors to work with and enabled more depth and hue variation throughout the garment in a subtle way. I love the muted tones.
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