Shae dabbles in...embroidery design?!

Last week, I saw on Twitter that the British lingerie brand Edge O’ Beyond was holding an embroidery design competition. Within 20 minutes, I grabbed my HB pencils and began sketching.

Edge O’ Beyond’s aesthetic is romantic, playful, modern, and often botanical inspired. As an admirer (and owner!) of their lingerie, I was excited to try my hand at nailing their aesthetic while sharing my own design sensibility.

I sketched three designs because, well, three is better than one :) Take a look and let me know your favorite!

Desdemona

IMG_2295edit.jpg
Alternate view of Desdemona. MEDIA: Colored pencil, ink.

Alternate view of Desdemona. MEDIA: Colored pencil, ink.

“Desdemona” is inspired by a 1920s blouse I spotted on Etsy:

IMG_2298edit.jpg

This design is playful, exuberant and joyous. The embroidery is bright yellow and gray, on background of nude mesh and opaque white.

For the bra design, I inverted the flowers, so they drip off the bottom of the bra. The flowers are right side up on the garter belt, drawing the eye toward the smallest part of the waist.

More daisies bloom from the panty, which is made entirely of nude mesh.

The back of the panty my favorite part of the design. It is partially open, with the daisies oriented on their sides, drawing the eye to the center.

Thalassa

IMG_2296edit.jpg
Alternate view of Thalassa. MEDIA: Colored pencil, ink.

Alternate view of Thalassa. MEDIA: Colored pencil, ink.

The next design, “Thalassa,” looks decidedly oceanic — like a scallop shell — but was inspired by copperplate calligraphy, especially the graceful “S” curves fo the lower parts of uppercase Ks and Rs:

calligraphy-alphabet-copperplate-google-search-calligraphy-in-calligraphy-alphabet-copperplate.jpg

When making rough sketches of the design, I realized that when repeated in a radiating pattern, the S curve began to look like a bivalve shell, so I leaned into that with the sea-green-on-green colorway as well as the name Thalassa, the primeval spirit of the sea.

The S curves are not just embroidery; they inform the lingerie silhouette, especially the top corners of the bra, the garter belt straps, and the side trim on the panty.

The overall effect of the silhouette, colorway, and overall embroidery is decidedly aquatic — an esoteric take on the mermaid aesthetic.

Fun fact: this design was the most technically demanding and took much longer to draw than the other designs. Look closely and you’ll surely see places where it’s not perfectly symmetrical. However, look closely at a bivalve shell and you will see imperfections as well. Nature doesn’t usually make straight lines or perfect symmetry.

scallop2.jpg

Anaïs

IMG_2294edit.jpg
Alternate view of Anais, along with the metal beading components that inspired the design. MEDIA: Colored pencil, ink.

Alternate view of Anais, along with the metal beading components that inspired the design. MEDIA: Colored pencil, ink.

For my last design, I wanted to go bold and asymmetric.

The white flowers resemble crocuses but are actually based on some decades-old ceramic-and-metal beading components I’ve had for years. I maintained their original color (white blossoms, black stems) and rendered their centers in black ink/embroidery.

For maximum visual impact, I rendered the design in black and white against red.

The bra has an obviously asymmetric design, with the long flower stems extending all the way down to the long line of the bra. The flowers flow toward the center, to draw the eye inward.

The garter belt and panty were designed in tandem. The flowers are clustered in the center of the garter belt, and at the margins of the panty; worn together, they will form a cohesive flower cluster.

Progress shots/sketches

Early ink sketches of Thalassa and Desdemona

Early ink sketches of Thalassa and Desdemona

Final sketches for Thalassa and Desdemona.

Final sketches for Thalassa and Desdemona.

Final sketches for Anais and Desdemona. Note: the shading on the Anais bra is because I used a graphite transfer technique to transfer the design onto marker paper.

Final sketches for Anais and Desdemona. Note: the shading on the Anais bra is because I used a graphite transfer technique to transfer the design onto marker paper.

Shae Ashbury