Contessa Fiori

Could I create an Art Gown, who is both romantic & castle worthy?

I turned to romance novelists Shehanne Moore & Carolee Croft, and castle photographer Inese.

This Art Gown is dedicated to them. They are as gorgeous as the Contessa Fiori.

My fave fabric shop had a going out of business sale. (boo hoo!) I bought black curtain sheer for $1.00/yd. & a men’s suit lining for $0.75/yd.

However, the challenge actually began when a friend gave me an East Indian vintage vest (with inset mirrors) and part of a collectible saree.

I took apart the vest, & over-dyed the fronts black.

The saree ran from a red floral print to a black w/floral print. Cut into squares, 10″x 10″ & 4″x 4″ they were backed in black curtain sheer, & bagged out. The squares were gathered from the centre out to all 4 corners, forming the flowers. Torn strips of the sheer were braided, and used to trim the sheer side panels.

The bow pieces, forming the bustle, came out flat. They were stuffed with used bubble wrap to fluff them out.

It was about then that Mini-Me told Contessa Fiori about the castles in Ireland.

To visit Inese’s post about Kilkenny Castle, click on pic.

Well, the Contessa began to dream about how perfect she would be for castle life.

Contessa Fiori told the other Art Gowns about castles, & showed them pics on Inese’s blog, where you will see more than castles. Visit Inese’s blog by clicking on pic below.

All Castle photos © Inese MJ Photography

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When I told the Art Gowns I was definitely not buying them a castle, they all got in quite the huff. The Contessa strew her flowers all about herself.

OUTTAKES

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Contessa Fiori & Mini Me thank all for visiting Art Gowns.

🌹Special thank you’s to Carolee Croft, Shehanne Moore & Inese 🌹

To read the blurbs about these fab books, click on the covers, or banners Please note the 2 books from Carolee are 18+

💐 I’ve read Carolee’s  books, “Ariella’s Escape” & “The Greyhounds of Sorrento Book 1”. I enjoyed both a lot, but the 2 books offered today, reflect the era of Contessa Fiori. 💐

Visit Carolee’s Blog

http://viewBook.at/EngagedtotheEarl – by Carolee Croft

♞ I’ve read “Splendor”, & really enjoyed it! I’m 1/2 way through “Loving Lady Lazul”. I adore being swept into a different era. ♞

 

https://t.co/Bmdr9TlIEa  Amazon UK  Kindle 99p

https://amzn.to/2NZ11dq   Amazon UK Paperback 10.99

https://amzn.to/2P7x87l      Amazon.com  Kindle 1.29

https://amzn.to/2DSmznC   Amazon.com Paperback  14.00

Visit Shehanne’s Blog

 

https://amzn.to/2QDwejp  2.98$ Amazon.com

https://amzn.to/2Oid8CK  £2.27 –Amazon uk

https://amzn.to/2PjuETp

https://amzn.to/2zYd5De

 

Art Gown Contessa Fiori created by © Resa McConaghy – 2018

All photos of Contessa Fiori © Resa McConaghy

Art Gowns & all Art Gowns Stories © Resa McConaghy 2012 – 2018

After the photo shoot, Mini Me sulked in a corner. She claimed her outfit wasn’t perfect.

Cecilia Lionheart

Was your heart ever broken enough to switch Art Gowns in mid creation?

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Then outrage has compelled you to do a Tribute to Cecil The Lion, #CecilTheLion.

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With  tail  thrown under her neck & crisscross armor to protect her, Marina Kanavaki,  must be who this Art Gown is dedicated to.

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 Take a look at Marina’s blog Art Towards A Happy Day and be convinced. She is vegan, & a champion for all animals both wild and domestic.

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Cecilia #8Being a last minute creation, I was in an absolute uproar about what to make the gown out of.

Then I realized I owned about 500 men’s ties, mostly dated. I figured why not?

I deconstructed about 80 ties. A step ladder was used as an organizer.

I opted for regal colors red, gold & purple. Solids, paisley & medallions became the chosen patterns.

Old purple curtain lining was fashioned into a skirt on Judy. Ties became points, trims, bows & braids.Cecilia #9

Contrary to regular established procedure, I made the tail first.

Cecilia #6

 The bits on the back of the ties, that you pass the skinny part under, were fashioned into Cecilia’s dangling choker.

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MORE CECILIA BEAUTY SHOTS

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Of course the Art Gown I had originally started will be back next post, but I just had to break rhythm and design this tribute.

Cecilia #17

Marina & I are sick about what happened to Cecil The Lion. So, we’ve signed petitions & are doing what we can. You’re welcome to join in, if you already haven’t!

Cecilia #13

Cecila Lionheart designed by Resa McConaghy 2015

Photos taken by & © Resa McConaghy – Aug 1 & 2 -2015

CeciliaSS #6

Empress d’Amore

Are you like me, at a loss for words to describe an “Art Gown” that is its own Fairy Tale?

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Okay, at least we know it opens with: Once Upon A Time

Virginia, a retired chef & her romantic, fanciful blog Bel’ Occhio have inspired this Art Gown. You’ll find some of her recipes on this blog, but if you have the appetite for more delicious creations visit her at Mrs. Butterfingers

Rap 3

ONCE UPON A TIME

There was a beautiful young girl named Virginia who lived in the Empire of  Amore. Unfortunately, she was very poor, a seamstress for the wealthy merchants of the Kingdom.

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The Emperor demanded his son, Prince Will, marry. He decreed a holiday with a Royal procession throughout the Empire. All “Virgins” of marrying age were to don their prettiest gowns & attend.

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Virgina’s mind was on her sewing when The “Town Crier” made the announcement. What she heard as his words floated up from the street and through her window  was “All Virginias were to don their pretty gowns for the procession.”

Alas, poor Virginia had no gown, but owned some yardage of thin taffeta, the color not in fashion.

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Virginia would sew a gown, but it would be very plain. She had no lace nor gems to decorate it with.

All she had was a modest piece of net, a length of ratty marabou & colorful scraps of  silks from her rich clients.

Using “Tailor Tacks” she overlaid the net best she could.

Virginia then decided to make the scraps into an luxurious abundance of braided trim.

She braided for many days and many nights then creatively attached the silk braids to the gown.

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When it was finished, her gown was far more beautiful than any of the bejeweled and otherwise overly embellished “Gowns of the Empire”.

On the day of the event, Virginia took her place along the procession route with hundreds of other girls in gowns.

“My, my” she said to herself, “I had no idea how many girls were named Virginia.”

As the parade moved past her, Prince Will was smitten with Virginia’s beauty and the uniqueness of her gown. He took her in his arms, and  asked her to be his future Empress d’Amore.

The Emperor announced to the cheering  crowd that Prince Will had chosen his Virgin bride.

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“Oh dear!” cried Virginia, “I’m not a virgin, but my name is Virginia.” The Emperor’s men tore her from the Prince’s arms. All he was left with was a hand full of colorful silk braids.

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Prince Will denounced his title, and set out on his white steed to find his beloved Virginia. He wore the colorful silk braids around his neck, as he wandered the Empire.

Empress 1Empress 3Furious, the Emperor had Virgina imprisoned in a velvet tower where she pined her days away

When Will learned of her lofty prison. He took the braids from his neck & made a rope.

A dove took the end of the silk rope, and flew up to Virginia’s window. Recognizing the braids, she threw open the sash and the dove flew in.

Using the rope, Virgina climbed down from the tower.

  With his Love in his arms, Will galloped away on his strong white steed, as the people cheered.

The Emperor died, unloved and lonely.

Due to the the people’s love, Will was made Emperor, and Virginia became Empress.

THE MORAL OF THIS TALE

Don’t mess with love! It has a Will of its own, and being a Virgin has nothing to do with it.

Empress End

THE END

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Lady Anne

Did you ever toss and turn through the dark of night  trying to figure how to make a gown out of an old black leather coat and studded leather pants?

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If your answer is “yes”, I feel your stress!

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Lady Anne is inspired by Norman who donated the coat & pants to my “Art Gowns” supplies stash.

Norman is a musician & composer. He works in film & television, and is an amazing guitar player.

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Black leather and studs made me think “Hard Rock” and “Metal”.

Anne #6 However, this is Anne #7a gown, so I thought Rock Ballads” and bought 9 meters of very inexpensive cotton gauze and Chantilly lace.

I removed the coat’s sleeves, and each sleeve became half of the bodice.

The pant legs became the skirt’s front panels. I cut scallops around the raw edges, and used glue to attach the fabric.

I surgically removed  the lower half of the coat’s fronts and the entire back in one piece.

Ane #15This Anne #9became the back of the gown. I split this up the center to add a flouncing bustle with  skirt of gauze.

I over-layered the skirt of gauze with a triangle of lace.

I needed something to pull Lady Jane together so I pulled a grommet laden S&M harness from my pile of leftover production stock, and chopped that up.

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Lady Anne is, Medieval, Elizabethan and Renaissance all rolled into today.

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Her name, Lady Anne, came to me as I was shooting her.

Soon after I was humming Lady Jane, an old Rolling Stones tune. In the song, Lady Anne is being left for Lady Jane. There is only one color to describe that feeling …. blue.

"My dear Lady Anne, I've done what I can. I must take my leave, for promised I am This play is run my love, your time has come my love I've pledged my troth to Lady Jane." Mick Jagger/Keith Richards
“My dear Lady Anne, I’ve done what I can.
I must take my leave, for promised I am
This play is run my love, your time has come my love
I’ve pledged my troth to Lady Jane.”
Mick Jagger/Keith Richards

Norman, Lady Anne is like the music you make, a romance of many eras, places and feelings. Thank you for the inspiration!

Norman Orenstein Music

Anne #16

“Art Gown” Lady Anne designed by Resa McConaghy – November, 2013

All photos of Lady Anne taken by Resa McConaghy – November, 2013