Photography: Frank Wiredu
Models: Karisah Brown, Lucia Corsetti, Maryam Jama
Fashion (except white lace gown): Wilde Hunt Corsetry
White lace gown: Style and Salvage
MUA: Ludie Senatus
The influence of Art Nouveau aesthetic is undeniable in the work of corsetière Larissa Boiwka of Wilde Hunt Corsetry. Her love of the art movement goes back to her childhood, when her parents gave her a beautiful Dover coloring book in which she was able to color on a piece of tissue paper that covered each drawing of an Art Nouveau woman, creating a translucent stained glass effect. “Ever since, I was hooked on this artistic style,” Boiwka says. “Art Nouveau constantly informs my work, from the color palette I use to my preference for organic shapes.”
All pieces seen here were created by Boiwka, from the headpieces and corsets to the intricate disc-shaped background, reminiscent of the patterns painted behind the women in Alphonse Mucha’s work. “I really love the combination of European aesthetics with Eastern influences that artists like Mucha used. When I was styling this shoot, selecting models, and creating the hand-painted background halo, it struck me that it was all very Byzantine looking. I think by creating work so closely modeled after our heroes, it brings us closer to the root of their inspirations and intentions.”
The headpieces seen here were created from 23-karat gold leather, based on Mucha illustrations. Boiwka then embellished the leather with natural gems: jade, turquoise, garnet, amber, and freshwater pearls. She also added stunning turn-of-the century passementerie beads.
The Parisian underbust corset worn by model Maryam features a hand-tooled iris flower in 23-karat gold leather. The majority of the corset was made from a color-shifting Italian patent leather that changes from teal to plum depending on the light. Lucia is wearing the Krakowiak corset, featuring plum glazed leather. The shape of the corset was inspired by the midbust S-shape corset pattern from the early 1900s, well within the Art Nouveau era. This bodice features an ornament carved from 23-karat gold leather, embellished with a mosaic of emerald beetle wings and crystal drops. Finally, Karisah wears the Pearl Rebatto underbust corset in iridescent leather with hand-cut appliqué work, a hand-printed lace design, dichroic fused glass, Swarovski crystal, and freshwater pearls.
All the golden details are crafted from leather and gemstones, and yet until you actually reach out and touch them, you don’t even realize they weren’t made from precious metals themselves. Boiwka’s passion has combined with true skill and talent to create magical wearable pieces that any of the women from a Mucha painting would be honored to wear over their diaphanous gowns.
More information on the creation of these pieces and additional detailed photos of the accessories and background are available at wildehunt.com/category/art-nouveau-corsets.