Monday, February 07, 2011

Her Majesty's Airship Apoidea

The Invitation
The Inspiration and Creation
Last July, our Advanced Draping class were asked to participate in an exhibit called "Pumapapel" at the Yuchengco Museum. We were each asked to make a dress made entirely out of paper. I wasted no time harassing my family and friends for newspapers, magazines and anything else they had laying around the house for me to use for my paper dress.

I had the idea of putting a story behind my design. I imagined the future as the Victorians imagined it (this time was also the height of my Steampunk obsession, by the way) With that in mind I thought, why not air travel? They would have loved that if the Victorians had it. They could fly from colony to colony. Then it hit me. BEES!

Victorian Hallowen Costume
Bees in an airship, flying from colony to colony.
So what would a futuristic Victorian flight attendant wear? She needed to be pleasant, corseted  and wearing a shortened skirt. And she needed a bustle, arguably the most distinctive look of Victorian fashion.
The only sketch that I took a picture of. I had no idea where my camera or scanner went at the time.
After consulting with Miss Ish (my History of Costumes and Advanced Draping teacher) and Sir Dan (my Illustration teacher and advisor) I started work on the Bee Flight Attendant costume.

I decided to go with this kind of bustle instead of the fabric cascade from the earlier sketch. to make it look more bee-like. 

Work In Progress - Back View

Work In Progress - Back Quarter View

Work In Progress - Front View

Work In Progress - Side View
I used newspaper (carefully torn out so only the text was used to give the corset a nice tweedy grey), craft paper that I use in school to draft my sewing patterns and Burgundy colored leather finish paper that I was lucky enough to find in a dinky little shop somewhere in Binondo

The Finished Product
Photo by Fold

Photo by Fold.

The Bustle. Photo by Fold.

Corset detail. Photo by Fold.

The Advanced Draping Class Paper Dress Collection
The Writeup

"Fly around the Empire in style in Her Majesty's Airship Apoidea, the latest in navigable aerostats. Tea and cake will be served by our sweet and ever gracious Honey Bees while you lounge and take in the landscape thousands of meters below. Now with non-stop flights from colony to colony."

Opening Night

Me and my paper doll. I'm wearing an old black dress and a bolero I knit from yarn of unknown origin and fiber content. 

Left to Right: Ela, Paloma, Geoff, Lyra and Trisha. Picture by Miss Ish

The tiny feature in Philippine Town and Country Magazine


Seersucker Sally said...

So creative!I've always wondered how bustles were constructed. Congrats on the write up!

Lyra said...

Thanks so much! <3 It took me a while before I could figure it out. A fabric bustle may be easier to construct than a paper one.

Jason Lieder said...

Thanks for taking a look at my work. I really like your blog. The construction pictures are so awesome. I can see why you enjoy the process pics I post. I can't wait to see more. I just added you to my reader

Jason Lieder said...

Ohhh, and you're in the Philippines. I have some good friends in Manila. I'm pretty sure they are still in Manila. I hope to one day get over there.