My research into Frida Kahlo led me to looking at colourful mexican embroidery and the use of lace combined with rich colour and pattern. I'd love to wear that Jean Paul Gaultier dress on the top left in the picture above!
This got me started on some paper cutting resulting in the lace like sample above which I used to partially reveal, yet also conceal the floral design underneath. More paper cutting and I started to explore how colour and pattern could give lace a more masculine appearance.
I couldn't resist trying it out as a stencil too.
More sketchbook research led me to looking at corsetry and I was fascinated by the steel orthopaedic corsets dating back to the 16th century, whose cutout designs were very lace like.
Their resemblance to armour makes them quite masculine yet the imagery is very feminine.
This also brought to mind the work of artist Cal Lane whose beautiful cut metalwork has strong masculine form combined with feminine imagery. I'm loving how lace can be so contradictory.
And then I discovered these exquisite paper lace dresses by Rei Kawakubo and once again I was paper cutting.
And this time I painted the "lace" with metallic paints to resemble the armoured metal corsets.