Velvet Tango

Did you ever feel like making an Art Gown about the Tango?

If so, you may be thinking passion, desire and poetry in motion.

Those words also perfectly describe the prose of Holly – House of Heart. Art Gown Velvet Tango is dedicated to her.  Holly, I hope you just love this!

Gigi (Georgiann from Rethinking Life) wrote some Tango poetry. With Gigi’s permission to use these pieces with an Art Gown dedicated to Holly, I began an epic 5 month building of  Velvet Tango.

Holly thought a Tango gown could be black, red and silver. So, I immediately began deconstructing a red, 25 year old  synthetic velvet coat that I never wear.

In the rear of a fabric jobbers, I found an old rayon bengaline lining for $4.00/yard. It was a splurge, but I bought 4 yards.

Tango dresses can feature lots of asymmetry and legs for days. Unfortunately, Judy has a metal pole and 4 wheels. I didn’t cut into the fabric. Instead, I began at one side of the Judy, and draped the fabric right around. This created a massive tail off to one side, the feel of asymmetry, and the need for 20 release darts.

The unorthodox drape I had done left a huge gap in the centre back. Fortunately, an old friend found my blog, and sent me 14 pounds of old, musty and Art Gowns worthy fabrics. I found a toned down red that fit into the back space.

There was enough leftover to interline some red lace to fill a quarter front panel slit. Some of the lace was made into flowers. Using a silvery sage scarf from my stash, and an old silver grey dupioni silk dress, leaves were formed.

Easy as pie!? Here’s the classic front, back and side shots.

A HUGE THANK YOU TO: Frank from A Frank Angle

He was kind enough to submit this Tango video for the post!

OUTTAKES

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Historically the Tango is a dance of slaves and poor, and was fueled by the emotions of young men who immigrated to Argentina to find a better life. Click on the pic below to read a page on the history.

Art Gowns © Resa McConaghy – since 2012

Tango prose © Georgiann Carlson.

183 thoughts on “Velvet Tango

  1. Timothy Price

    I think they can Tango in Paris again with that beautiful gown. That is a really gorgeous gown, Resa. Speaking of Tango, my partner and I won first place dancing Tango at the Pan American Dance Competition in 1978.

    1. WoW! That’s quite the competition to win. I am impressed!! Do you still Tango?
      I wish I could Tango. My dancing years were spent doing interpretive jazz classes… oh, and Belly Dancing. Lol!

      1. Timothy Price

        Hi Resa. I can still dance Tango, but I really don’t like it that much. I much prefer Latin and swing dancing. I’ve danced most styles of dances including flamenco, all kinds of folk dance, country & western, square dance, modern, jazz, a little ballet, and all the ballroom styles of dance. I have not down belly dancing.

      1. Wow the hell did I miss this comment?
        Well, I did!
        … and now it’s HAPPY NEW YEAR!
        ❦🎉❦🎉❦🎉❦🎉❦🎉❦🎉❦🎉❦🎉
        Thank you so much, Merril!

  2. This is so beautiful Resa. You’ve not only created a gorgeous “tango” gown but brought along a bit of seasonal cheers (love the lights) . As always Gigi has written the loveliest of poems to compliment this amazing display. It’s beyond amazing dear Resa. 💜💃🌹♥️

    1. Thank you dear Holly! 💜💃🌹♥️
      I’m thrilled you like it!
      You are this Art Gown in so many ways. Without inspiration, life’s stew falls flat. Knowing you has spiced up the pot.
      The lights on Velvet Tango are a lot of fun! They are the old fashioned type. Twinkle lights are pretty, but I love these better.

      Okay, suddenly I’m having a WP issue! I’ve sent the Happiness Engineers the scoop & changed my passwords.
      Did your WP issues get solved?
      xoxo

      1. Believe it or not I wound up being billed twice and was unable to fight it based on some small print. I won’t be buying anything else from WP. Re little glitches I am usually able to get help timely.

        This is one of your most gorgeous gowns ! I gasped when I first saw it. The music is wonderful and as I said the poem by Gi so awesome! The lights brighten our spirits as well as the photos. xoxo

        1. Yay! You gasped! Gi’s poems were perfect for this.
          I think it’s one of my 2 best Art Gowns. Lady Anne, which I drew you in, is the other.

          Uch… double billing! Bummer! I understand how you feel!
          They should make you some kind of offer of atonement! Even if it’s not a refund… perhaps an extra year’s subscription to the product.
          Yeah, they already fixed my problem. Turns out I alerted them to a bug, and they sent me a Thank you letter.

          1. I actually did gasp when I saw this gorgeous gown and that it was in dedication to me, you make life fun for everyone who knows you! Gi’s poem is amazing…is there anything she can’t do perfectly? No! Love you dear Resa.

  3. Thank you dear Resa, I’m really blown away by the beauty of this gown. Thank you for the dedication, it really puts me in the Christmas spirit. (Care to dance?) Frank has chosen some awesome tango vids and you have chosen the most sensual and delightful. Check out those legs 🥳! Thank you dear Resa you a diamond among jewels. 💜Happy Holidays ! xoxoxo

    1. As we say in Manchester, a “diamond geezer.” Innit. Although I agree Resa is 10,000 levels above that. Whatever that may be. Heck, it’s a Manc reference. I’ve no idea what’s going on. I wear jeans until they collapse on me.

      1. Huh! “diamond geezer.” You really have a lot of colloquialisms over in Manchester.
        Collapsed jeans are honourable! I need to write you soon, as I am curious about how the election results will work for you! Take care!

            1. Me too! Maybe I’ll forget to return them. Then, I’ll cut them in half. I’ll use them to make one shoulder length glove for each of us. We could do some kind of Elvis/Michael Jackson Boogapony thing. There were some Elvis & MJ street art pieces around. I wonder if they are still there?

    2. Aww, I’m a diamond! Yay! I don’t own any diamonds, so I might as well be one!
      You so deserve to have an Art Gown dedicated to you.
      You’ve been really good to me, letting me turn you into make believe characters, and modelling Art Gowns in sketches. Of course you will model this one when I eventually draw her. I’ll do 2 Art Gown sketches. I’ll do you in Velvet Tango, and Marina in Autumn Orchid.

      However, first I’ll finish the current running episode of PBH. I’m almost finished my drawing of all the Art Gowns Mermaids waking up on Miami Beach. I’ve never drawn 5 bodies in various perspective before, so I’m taking my time. Also, all the Art Gowns hairs & make-up is messed up from being underwater for so long. LOL.
      Then, a new outfit for Boogapony is on the block.

      Well, I adore you, your poetry and all the fun I have had.
      Happy Holidays! ❦x❦o❦x❦o❦x❦o❦x❦o❦x❦o❦x❦o❦x❦o❦x❦o

      1. You are a living doll! You should be covered in diamonds! You are so much fun and have brought so much joy and laughter that into my life and I just love it. Being PBH and Rene Rosso is keeping me busy and Boogapony is always ready to hit the road with you, just pull the van around. I adore you too and wish you the most wonderful holiday season. Thank you for all that you do!
        Happy Holidays Dear Resa!
        PBH
        Rene Rosso
        Boogapony Holly

        1. xoxoxoxoxo
          OMG! Hope I don’t give you a personality disorder!
          In the meantime, I had the car blocking the van’s spot towed to the next spot over.
          The driver won’t know what the hey, eh!
          xoxoxoxo

    1. A very neat song, and a very cool band, I think ahead of their time.
      Well, Velvet Tango Underground is a new and fab idea!
      I must admit “A Walk On The Wild Side” is my fave Lou Reed song. Outstanding!

    1. Thank you, Shey!
      I adore this Art Gown! Well, I love them all. They are my…… Hamsters…. in a way.
      I’m really looking forward to taking some time very soon, to read the Viking and the Courtesan!
      Between getting Velvet Tango finished and the Holiday Season, I’m a bit frazzled. A fantasy escape IS in order. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    1. Thank you so much, Janet!
      I can’t seem to stop making them, especially now that I’ve been making them out of leftover fabrics, appropriate trash… really anything I can recycle, repurpose, reuse, up-cycle… whatever.
      Treasure from trash, I say.

  4. Resa. You have absolutely outdone yourself. Every second you spent on this project was worth it. It’s stunning. The gown is gorgeous. Holly must be thrilled. Thank you for using my poems and letting me part of something this beautiful. I’m so honored and grateful. You are an incredible artist and what you have done, is truly amazing. Congratulations and thank you so very, very much.

    1. Gi!
      Your poems are so fab in this post! It was lots of fun layering them on the shots. Thank you, and Holly loves them, too!
      It’s crazy, but it’s like time passes in Art Gowns for me. I have 24 girls, now. I do believe the next one will be something about the Roaring Twenties!
      Thank you for everything!

  5. Pingback: Velvet Tango — Art Gowns (be sure to look at every bit of this post, including the video…it’s wonderful) | Rethinking Life

  6. Pingback: Velvet Tango — Art Gowns | By the Mighty Mumford

    1. Dear LDN, Thank you so much! You have been here since my very first Art Gown. I believe they get more beautiful all the time. I’m so happy you appreciate them. Of course you can Tango with Velvet Tango, if you enter the dance floor, but I must warn you to be careful of your Tux. He could be very jealous, and who know what he might do! xoxo

  7. This gown is gorgeous. I don’t know about dancing the tango in it. I think someone wearing it should just stop still and watch the reactions! 🙂
    But the poetry is lovely, too, and Christmas lights add a fun, festive touch.

    1. Well, my Art Gowns aren’t practical, although you can pose in them for photographs. I have 3 done on live models, and I modelled one Honorary Art Gown. My Norman says my art form is obscure.
      It’s very satisfying for me.
      The next one will be based on Flappers/Charleston. Thank you, Merril!

  8. Oh my my, a fabulous design and creation, Resa … and one that will look much better on Holly than me … and you picked a wonderful video to accompany this post. Well done, and thanks for letting me be involved.

  9. Velvet Tango is simply the most exquisite gown that I have ever behold. And yes, a perfect dedication to a remarkable poet and kindred spirit – Holly from House of Heart. You make a dynamic duo. Your enthusiasm, creativity and friendship inspires us all!

    1. Thank you Rebecca! Holly has been a great sport about letting me use her to invent characters to draw. We are having a lot of fun.
      There are so many comments here, that I somehow missed you earlier. Found you now! {{hugs}}

  10. Another WOW Resa, and what a beautiful gown.. Nothing more sensual than the Dance of Love.. The Tango a beautiful dance… What wonderful words too by Gigi such a great collaboration between you both..
    I know the skill and patience involved in such creations and especially as you stitch All by hand..
    You are so talented Resa..
    Sending you love and Blessings over the Festive Holiday my friend..
    Take care of you.. ❤

    1. Thank you, dear Sue!

      I knew you would be the only one to comment who would understand and say something about the ability and time to make this. Hey, you are the one! Have a blessed Holiday Season, and all the best for you and yours! -Resa xo
      (Gigi’s words rock!)

      1. 🙂 It take’s one to know one as they say Resa, and I know from years of experience in Textiles and working on concept garments from designers to present to the buyers, just how much work and precision goes into the sewing craft.. And your own ability is even more remarkable, because of your hand stitching, So Kudos to you dear Resa..
        And thank you, You too have a beautiful Holiday.. ❤ Hugs… ❤

  11. I can’t imagine a more passionate gown for tango! My goodness, Resa…. how perfect! Speaks tango passion, every tiny detail! Just wow!!!!!
    ❤️❤️❤️❤️xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. How did I ever miss this comment?
      You are one of the people I adore hearing from most.
      Thank you so much Marina! xoxoxoxoxo
      So, Princess Blue Holly has saved the Art Gowns Mermaids. I managed to draw a pic with all of you waking up on Miami Beach. Lol.
      I’ll post that in the New Year.
      THEN… I think I’ll be drawing you and all of the Art Gowns models in Rock’n’Roll – Motorcycle type gowns. All Vegan … no leather.
      Maybe I’ll invent a new material. Hey, I did mosaic hair, so I figure I can do anything!
      ❤️❤️❤️❤️xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo❤️❤️❤️❤️

      1. Miami Beach!!!! Oh, I look forward to that and also the Rock’n’roll Motorcycle Gowns! I think Hera would also be a great model with her ‘mean’ look! 😉😂🤣😂🤣 … oh, you can do ANYTHING so I expect a brilliant new material!
        ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
        🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰
        ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

  12. I am so glad that I didn’t miss this gorgeous tango creation. I feel the whole atmosphere , lively, exploding with emotion! Res you always amaze me with your incredible talent – from creative design to execution. Happy holidays right back at you my friend!

    1. I’m so glad you didn’t miss this, too.
      Thank you for this lovely, lively comment!
      I’m getting better at drawing, but my work is still largely fashion illustration oriented. Still, I’m trying new things… stretching myself.
      Expressing with fabrics via Art Gowns is definitely my forte!
      So happy to see you, and I look forward to your next painting!
      Happy holidays!

    1. Oh, thank you! Yeah, the sun beams (when there are any in this bleak northern sky) come into my studio this time of year, and create magic. I diffuse with natural cotton curtains. When it’s dark, I have 2 mini spotlights. Lots of fun!

  13. Another wonderful gown to add to your now growing collection. A beautiful addition.
    I can’t type anymore and fast and I have asked Natascha to type the comment for me.
    Merry Christmas from our extended Pussycat family.
    Love from Graz.
    Ralph and Natascha xxxxxx

    1. Dear Ralph,
      Thank you so very much for this wonderful comment!
      I’m sad to hear you can’t type anymore, but I’m happy that Natasha is helping type this comment.
      I do miss your witty banter!
      From me, and J & J:
      Merry Christmas to you two, and the entire Pussycat Family in Graz.
      Resa – xoxoxo
      Just for some holiday fun:

  14. Oh Resa, this was absolutely stunning!! A passionate life-affirming dream of a dress!! And it mixes so perfectly with the beautiful poetry, I can almost hear a Tango-tune when reading… great video, also. But your dress is the absolute highlight – fantastic art!! Thanks so much for this!! Thoroughly enjoyed it, and happy holidays to you 🙂 xx

    1. Gypsy!
      Happy Holidays!
      I’m thrilled you like Velvet Tango. She’s a beauty. Also, thank you for seeing my Art Gowns for what they are…. art, not clothing.
      Well, I’m still trying to interest someone in an Art Gowns show. Maybe 200 is the year!
      ❦🎄❦❦🎄❦❦🎄❦❦🎄❦❦🎄❦❦🎄❦❦🎄❦❦🎄❦

      1. Resa, thanks so much, hope you had a lovely time! Fingers crossed for that Art Gowns show, I am sure it would be an absolutely fantastic and inspirational creative event!:) Have a wonderful New Year, looking forward to going on more imaginative journeys with you/ Art Gowns in 2020 🙂 xx

  15. I’m here I’m here, Resa! I saw your comment over on my blog and just had to check out what you dedicated to Holly. I’m blown away!! The Velvet Tango gown and all its millions of stitches, every single one of them, scream passion and Holly! Incredulous I am as I sit here wracking my brains to try to convey to you how impressed I am! The TIME this took ….. I cannot even begin to imagine what you’ve put into this gown. It’s FANTASTIC! Glorious!! And can feel the beat, the heat, and the music twirls and tantalizes all around me. This has got to be, hands down, one of your finest creations. Wow, just wow!! Your talent is beyond what I can even comprehend. You are a Master Artist, plain and simple. How you do what you do is beyond me. I am in AWE!!!!!

    1. I was SO taken away by this gown, I totally forgot to compliment Gigi on her poetry!! Excellent prose to go perfectly with the theme of tango. And, Frank, your helping out with the video I thank you for too. I LOVED listening to the music of this tango! Par excellent post all the way around!!

      1. Agree! Gi’s poetry is wonderful! And Frank, too. I love involving my WP pals.

        Holly has been so great. Her poetry is is some of the best I’ve read. She’s written a few poems. She wrote one for Gi, when I dedicated a gown to Gi. Haha, I named it after her cat, Emily…Mademoiselle Emily.
        I only have a couple of people in mind at a time. The inspiration just pops up, and when it does, you’ll be the first to know. I can hardly wait!!!!

    2. Amy!!

      I was so tired last night, I didn’t have the energy to answer this most fabulous comment!
      Slept in, then brunch, it just doesn’t end this time of year. Cookies & pies, (wholewheat)…
      Anyway, I love making these Art Gowns for exactly the reason you stated. The time, the slow hand stitching, the creativity of the draping, hand crafting the flowers… it’s all very Zen.
      Velvet Tango took 5 months.
      Even finding the right things to recycle or repurpose, a theme (here it is the Tango) and the right person to dedicate it to. All but 2 have been WP pals. The other 2 are family.

      I’m even repurposing the Art Gowns posts for an online magazine. Of course those are short magazine articles, no dedications, no chit chat with everyone, but hopefully this will lead to making a few $$$ on the side.

      Perhaps an art show is in the future.
      Anyway,I’m so happy you came to see Velvet Tango, and yes, I think she’s one of the best!

      I’ve got you in my mind for an Art Gown dedication. I have to see what I find next year. Someone said they were going to send a big box of old, but lovely fabrics in the spring.

      The next Art Gown will be dedicated to a long time friend (a Miss America from the 1980’s) and will be based on the Roaring 20’s/Flappers.

      I know the one for you will have something to do with natures beauty… which is a very large pool to be inspired from. Perhaps a flower… or a bird..cat … cripes, what about a fox or wolf. Do you have any foxes where you are?

      1. And I am tired tonight, Resa. I’ve been having issues with my thyroid, first hypo, then medication dose too strong, went hyper, am leveling out now, and now waiting to know what to do next. I’ve been taking a new product for me and to be truthful I’ve never seen such amazing results. I’m hoping my thyroid is healing.

        Anyways ….. I’m about diamonds, pearls, roses, love, peace, cats, horses, lace, sex (when younger!), all things Nature, drawn to mountains and oceans ….. good luck with that potluck! There is so much to me sometimes I wonder how I fit it all in! LOL

        And fyi …. who don’t YOU know? Honestly, you never cease to amaze me. We HAVE TO meet someday, when this intense phase of taking care of my babies is over. I mean that, Resa!! Speaking of, I have to go give my Cookie IV fluids …. long story with her. My Cooka Mama.

        Muah! Love! Hugs! Kisses!! xoxoxoxoxo

  16. Amy!!

    I was so tired last night, I didn’t have the energy to answer this most fabulous comment!
    Slept in, then brunch, it just doesn’t end this time of year. Cookies & pies, (wholewheat)…
    Anyway, I love making these Art Gowns for exactly the reason you stated. The time, the slow hand stitching, the creativity of the draping, hand crafting the flowers… it’s all very Zen.
    Velvet Tango took 5 months.
    Even finding the right things to recycle or repurpose, a theme (here it is the Tango) and the right person to dedicate it to. All but 2 have been WP pals. The other 2 are family.

    I’m even repurposing the Art Gowns posts for an online magazine. Of course those are short magazine articles, no dedications, no chit chat with everyone, but hopefully this will lead to making a few $$$ on the side.

    Perhaps an art show is in the future.
    Anyway,I’m so happy you came to see Velvet Tango, and yes, I think she’s one of the best!

    I’ve got you in my mind for an Art Gown dedication. I have to see what I find next year. Someone said they were going to send a big box of old, but lovely fabrics in the spring.

    The next Art Gown will be dedicated to a long time friend (a Miss America from the 1980’s) and will be based on the Roaring 20’s/Flappers.

    I know the one for you will have something to do with natures beauty… which is a very large pool to be inspired from. Perhaps a flower… or a bird..cat … cripes, what about a fox or wolf. Do you have any foxes where you are?

    1. The same to you, Michael.
      I know this is a late response, but I haven’t been here lately!
      I’m back working on a new post with drawings. See you in awhile!

  17. Fab post and what a gown, I’ve booked a video recording session on Tuesday and this would make a very dramatic dress for a couple of the songs I’m hoping to have time to record.
    Christmas just whirled by and I’m only just catching up now, that’s what months away from home does! Anyhow, I hope that you had a fabulous start to the New Year xxxxx

  18. Pingback: Velvet Tango | "Making this World a better place from my little corner of this Earth."Author/Photographer Matthew C Seufer 2020

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