Cleopatra Capriccio

Did you ever want to go back in time?

Well, we can with Art Gowns and imagination. I choose the 1920’s! What a decade of influences to inspire an Art Gown! King Tut’s Tomb was discovered. Art Deco was the movement. Chanel and Vionnet eschewed the corset, flattening the chest and dropping the waistline.

In 1920 women’s right to vote was ratified in the U.S.A. – Cafe Society lead to the Jazz  Age, and the Fitzgeralds were all the rage. Flappers were making their mark, and Zelda Fitzgerald was the most famous flapper of them all.

Cleopatra Capriccio is dedicated to Elizabeth Gracen, a 21st century Flapper. Twenty some years ago, she was the star, and I was her designer. We have remained good friends, since.

As a matter of fact, she gave me the Mini-Me I dress up to go with the Art Gowns.

It began with the gift of a sequin fabric, a leftover from a TV series.

I paired the sequin fabric with a table runner I’d hung onto since my teen years, and yardage of: a soft grey, heavy weight, acetate satin curtain lining, purchased at a liquidation sale for $0.75/yd (120 ” wide).

The dark blue Dupioni silk table runner is embroidered with actual silver metal thread. It was already a vintage piece back when I was gifted it. I cut the diamond shapes and zig-zag bordeur out of the runner.

 Finally, some dark royal blue silk that had been stored for 25 years in musty storage, also gifted, rounded out the fabrics. I harvested sequins off of the scraps, and sewed them onto the silk.

OUTTAKES

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I pinned CleopatraCapriccio up, but she still wasn’t as short as a Flapper dress. Still, the sequins did a fun bit.

Elizabeth Gracen
Elizabeth Gracen arrived in NYC from a small town in Arkansas a year after traveling the world as Miss America 1982. She used her scholarship prize money to study acting at HB Studios and photography at the New School. She later moved to Los Angeles where she has worked as an actress for over twenty years, most notably as ‘Amanda’ on the long-running HIGHLANDER: THE SERIES and HIGHLANDER: THE RAVEN.

In 2012, Elizabeth formed FLAPPER FILMS, a production company devoted to developing inspiring, informational content for multi-generational men and women. Her films have met with great success on the international film festival circuit and on streaming media platforms.

​In 2016, Elizabeth formed FLAPPER PRESS and published her first YA novel, Shalilly.

Visit Flapper Press

Cleopatra Capriccio designed by and Š Resa McConaghy – 2020

Photos Š Resa McConaghy – August, 2020

Jazz Age Cover of VOGUE Magazine – July, 1926

Artist: Benito