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International Finalist, Weta Workshop Costume & Film Category (Baroque/Rococo), World of WearableArt Design Competition, Annesbrook, Nelson, NZ. 2016

Project Madame Deficit is fashioned after the lavish and garnish notoriety of historical figure Marie Antoinette, Dauphine of France. Reflective of the Dauphine's attributed excessiveness. The garment acts as a statement piece, providing personal commentary on the parallels of 'modern society' and the life lead by Antoinette. Aesthetically, Madame Deficit draws on individual perception of Baroque and Rococo time, visually associating both eras with their seemingly frequent use of floral. Specifically, the use of floral within era decor, royal portraiture and still-life paintings. The color palette developed derives from Château de Versailles' interiors and consists of rich pastels, golds, and a rainbow of floral colors. The textiles, many which were up-cycled, re-purposed or thrifted, imitate the tapestries, drapes and wallpaper seen in royal portraiture. Madame Deficit is fabricated largely by hand-craftsmanship, involving intensive labor particularly in free-hand embroidery throughout the garment's front bodice panel and cuffs. Utilizing a combination of French knots and bullion stitching, the floral and leaf embroidered details created raised, 3-dimensional forms which were then embellished and accentuated by hand-beading. Other intricacies include a rigilene-boned structure, canvas-backed lining, hand-sewn construction, hand-cut floral appliqués and a foam-cut supportive undergarment. The headdress was designed in three tiers each portraying a facet associated with Antoinette's life. The first tier depicts the Versailles' garden, historically referencing Antoinette's narcissistic and gluttonous tea parties including miniatures of a table filled with croissants, desserts and tea. The second tier depicts an artists' garret symbolically referencing treatment of seamstress laborers including a working space with miniatures of an antique singer sewing machine, dress form, mirror, chest of fabrics and an iron. The third tier, strategically placed at the top, is an interpretation of Antoinette's personal quarters equipped with miniatures of a four-post bed, fainting sofa, self-portrait, vanity and candelabra. 

Official Programme Image, World of WearableArt Ltd. Photographed by Louise Hatton. 2016.




Face to Face with the World’s Best (International Finalists), National WOW Museum, Annesbrook, NSN, New Zealand. 2017. Curated by Dame Suzie Moncreiff.