Taking inspiration from Joan of Arc, Chicago-based designer Grace Duval transformed a slew of old bicycle inner tubes into armor fit for the mother of all martyrs herself. Comprising a jointed corset with protective shoulder and arm pieces, the medieval-style suit could easily be mistaken for finely wrought steel. Look closer, however, and the deftly manipulated strips of rubber are unmistakable.
ARMORED AND READY
To create the bodice, DuVal fashioned a base from cardboard, brown paper, and glue. “The entire base is constructed from cardboard that is cut and hot-glued into shape,” DuVal explains. “Each individual piece was then covered in multiple coats of brown paper dipped in wallpaper paste, creating a thin, lightweight but very sturdy form of papier-mâché.”
To create the bodice, DuVal fashioned a base from cardboard, brown paper, and glue.
After apply gesso to remove corrugation lines and spray-painting everything matte black, DuVal glued panels of woven bicycle tubes using rubber cement. Finally, she says, she added fringed and braided embellishments, pulling everything together with screws and acorn-cap fittings to create a “more intense armored feel.” The entire process took 50 hours. “It was a labor of love, that’s for sure!” she adds.
Next stop: Game of Thrones convention?