I often use the corset as my starting point for a dress when I’m looking to create a very sculptural, architectural effect. But I never want the traditional rigidity of a corset to be the last word when it comes to the bodice.
With Francesca, the foundation of this two-piece gown is a modernized version of a bustier that I’ve pleated and asymmetrically hand-draped. Using feather faille, a fabric particularly well-suited to voluminous, extravagant shapes, I created a peplum that flows organically across the body’s natural form, almost like wearing a very seductive suit of armor.
I love the way the dense pleating in the front swoops around the back to reveal a fuller, frothier side that’s very bustle-like. It’s a deceptively simple gesture that creates multiple points of view, but one that requires incredible precision—the drapes have to be well-defined enough to fit the body in that beautifully contoured way. Francesca is an extremely modern take on the classic mermaid silhouette.
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