Robin needed a gown. It was time for ECAD, The Explorers Club Annual Dinnerin New York City.
Robin emailed me via my website. She had been searching on line for an interesting gown source. The message read, “tell me more about your gowns”. Robin was enthralled by the fact they are made from: reused, repurposed, new old stock, etc. materials.
Included in the mail was her purpose, phone and other info which made it super easy to check her out. She was a valid contender to wear an Art Gown. After a personable phone conversation, we decided on Belle Grâce.
To review Belle Grâce, or see her for the first time click on her pic below.
My judy is built for someone who is about 5’6″ & a size 6. Robin is 5’9″ and about a size 10. No worries! The Art Gowns are built in components: top, skirt, tail & often a bussell
First thing was to detach the tail. Who could walk and dance an entire evening in an Art Gowns tail?
Belle Grâce stands in a pool of handkerchief hem. The great thing about Robin’s height is the handkerchief hem was now enough off the ground that I merely had to tie overhand knots in the longest points.
We decided she would need to wear a strapless bra, so I designed a strap across the back to cover the bra’s back. A second thin strap was added for extra support.
By the time the beautiful and vivacious Robin returned for her second fitting, I had converted Belle Grâce’s tail into a stole. Skirt hooks and bussell snaps had been repositioned. Back straps had been built and positioned. Knots were tied in the handkerchief hem.
WHEN ROBIN PICKED UP THE GOWN I ONLY HAD TO PERFCT BAR PLACEMENTS IN THE BACK.
Robin Brooks is an elected executive of the Canadian Chapter of The Explorers Club. She is the regional director for Ontario/Nunavit. Click on her pic below to view the page.
To check out The Explorers Club (established 1904) click on the pic below of Robin tripping the light fantastic.
Dahlings, it was the 1940’s. For half the decade the world was at war and then it was recovery time. Days were hard, but Hollywood kept us entertained with escapist Movie Star Glamour.
Whether a promotion for an actor or a movie, the studios spared nothing. Katherine Hepburn made wearing wide leg pants éclat. Here, in Hepburn style palazzos, is Art Director Rebecca!
Thank you Rene! Although, in the only actual copy of a gown here today, you give Ava Gardner in “The Killers” a run for her money. Now, let’s get on with it! First out on the catwalk is AGM Gigi.
Inspired by Betty Grable, Gigi is bewitching in this Art Gowns original.
There’s no mistaking the influences of Marlene Dietrich & Rita Hayworth in Marina’s one of a kind design. Such vintage beauty!
AGM Dale is dazzling in her rendition of a Carmen Miranda gown.
Veronica Lake broke many a heart when she covered one eye with her hair. AGM Holly is also a heartbreaker in this gold lame gown.
Last out on the runway, in the spirit of Loretta Young – Shey surrounds and spellbinds us wth romantic glory.
Meanwhile, in the dark back of the theatre, lusted Rupert Valentino. A wanna be Matinee Idol (no relation to Rudolph), sent by DracGoth (13th cousin) to abscond with SheyGoth to Erebos. There a diabolic plan to free DracGoth & Etagloc from the SheyGoth effigy was being hatched.
As a bonus for all the film buffs here today, I’ve prepared a slide show of our inspirations.
…. aaand finally I present Ms. Rosso in an Art Gowns creation influenced by Vivian Leigh in the movie “That Hamilton Woman”, with undertows of Rita Hayworth in “Gilda”
You are all so wonderful for being here. Please enjoy this song and video by Christina Aguilera! Written in tribute to The Andrews Sisters’ 1941 song “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”.
Unable to control his greed, Rupert Valentino sent AGMs Dale and Gigi along with Shey. No one saw backstage, as the 3 faded into the darkness of Erebos.
Not being the sharpest spoon in the drawer, Rupert unknowingly also sent a past memory of Resa’s tree into Erebos. Resa’s tree instantly sent a message to RR & PBH’s Tangle-Heart
My favourite Soprano in the whole world is not merely a fabulous singer, but a wonderful person. In the past, she has brought Opera to children who are deaf &/or hard of hearing.
Charlotte – “For several years now, I have had a deep desire to create an Opera Production which can be enjoyed across the full hearing spectrum. The idea for the Opera is developed from my album “Down The Rabbit Hole”.”
She has worked diligently for several years, and has now received a grant.
Charlotte – “Two weeks ago, I got the news that they were willing to provide key funding for my project if I could raise the rest. So before I could share the news with you, I had to hit the phones, write emails and send off applications to try and raise the shortfall.”
Charlotte has raised the shortfall. She will do a small tour of primary schools next Spring, which will include both D/Deaf specialist schools and primary schools from socially deprived areas.
Charlotte – “If I can raise an extra £600.00 it will give me enough money to print a learning aid booklet for each of the 800 children we perform for. If I can raise an additional £3000.00 it will allow me to add the two schools that I have as reserves so that none of the children miss out.”
If you live in the U.K., there is a way to help Charlotte raise the money by simply shopping.
Visit Charlotte’s Blog, where there is a button to donate to this project on the side bar. I just donated £ 10.00 with PayPal!
If you have never had the delight of hearing Charlotte sing, click on the image below and visit her YouTube Channel.
I have Charlotte’s permission to reblog. However, as there is no reblog button on her blog, I have made this semi-repost.
To visit the full original post, click on the pic below.
I’ve decided to close comments. Many of you might want to say something to Charlotte, however Akismet won’t allow her to comment on this blog. Crazy! We communicate through comments on her blog. So, go visit!
Announcement: An Art Gown for Charlotte. A few years ago, I was gifted some sequin fabric left over from a TV production. This was the beginning. It will be sent to Charlotte, with help from ❦ Timothy Price ❦
Princess Blue Holly showed up at noon by the coral in the Gulf of Mexico, her seaweed whip with with poisonous holly berries poised to fight Chainelle.
However, instead of finding Chainelle, she found a surging, gurgling black mass of gulf water. Chainelle’s wicked voice was luring Blue Holly into the black.
PBH knew it was folly to dive into the dark. Luring Chainelle up was a wiser choice. Chainelle’s weakness was her jealousy of the Art Gowns Models, and loathing of Ms. Rosso.
An underwater fashion show was the bait. Blue Holly looked into her Tangle-Heart, and had it send a message to all of the AGMs’ magic trees.
The AGMs were instructed to walk through the tall grasses on Tim’s magic tree sanctuary. Eventually the grasses would become sea grasses, and the AGMs would be transformed into Mermaids.
Dahlings, welcome to the Fashion Show down at the Coral. All the AGM Mermaids are here, and so is our wonderful Art Director, RB.
Don’t you just love RB’s split tail fin, inspired by her famous palazzo pants & adorned with bits of red sea anenomes and seaweed ? Take it away, Rebecca!
Thank you, Rene! What a thrill to be Art Directing a fashion show under water in the gulf of Mexico. We are all Mermaids here, and the Mermaid Art Gowns are splashing!
First out on the Catfish Walk is AGM Marina. Marina is a knock out in her one shoulder mermaid bodice, with rare queen conch shell detail. A double layer tail fin to match the queen conch with extra sea grasses finish the gown beautifully.
Next out on a meandering current is Holly. AGM Mermaid Holly wears a romantic creation. The tail is a multi wisps design with heart inserts. Her arm is adorned with hearts, held together with a long strand of seaweed.
I’d like to take a moment to thank my Assistant Art Director, Mermaid Chicklet Nora & her assistant Skippy. I couldn’t have perfected this under water extravaganza without her.
Now, let’s have a round of applause for the Mermaid Chicklets Beauty Team!
On make-up we have the talented Lacy!
Perfecting the AGM Mermaids’ hair is Ground breaking hairstylist, Michell!
Last but not least let’s hear it for Pearl, Wardrobe Supervisor!
Now it’s back to the Catfish Walk and AGM Mermaid Dale. Dale’s gown is made of bracken with a fine net overlay. Her gown features a tidy tail fin and large dramatic dorsal fin accented by iridescent blue champia laingii. The net overlay has been repurposed from deep water human pollution.
Mermaid AGM Gigi is splendid with her elaborate & massive tail fin, that spreads out like a señorita’s fan. Decorated with sea salvaged ribbons and segments of plastic water bottles, it is one-of-a-kind.
It’s a butterfly! Not quite, but AGM Mermaid Shey’s gown is inspired by the shells of Corolla Sea Butterflies. Shey’s gown shows off 3 dorsal fins that augment her tail fin.
And now, back to our one and only diva, Rene Rosso! Her floating boa, a joyous combo of Starfish and Bracken.
Dahlings, I hope you enjoyed our special presentation! I leave you with well wishes, and a song sung by Robert Plant.
Suddenly the roiling black waters became almost violent. Chainelle’s face appeared out of the dark.
I’m the superior designer! Who does that hack RR think she is? I demand Princess Blue Holly fight it out with me for the souls of RR & the Art Gowns Models!
Jade has been called by Chinese poets “the concentrated essence of love”.
Well, all that sounds like a Historical Romance novel to me, andShehanne Moore writes the best .
Art Gown, Jade, is lovingly dedicated to Shehanne.
If anyone knows the twists and turns of romance, it is she.
It all began with 2 vintage decorator pillow shams. My friend, Kat, found them in Wiarton’s Goodwill – 220 km. north of Toronto. She sent them to me.
I wasted no time pinning one onto Judy. It was a natural. Last year Kat sent me 40 pounds of fabrics, much of it stored for up to 25 years. In the poundage was a generous yardage of 60″ wide green polyester faux silk.
That was cut on bias and hung for 2 weeks. I harvested miles of ribbon from an old gown. It was marked with needle holes, so I gathered it to hide the flaws.
The faux silk had been cut without blunting the bottom for a hem. The points were picked up, and attached onto the bodice. This meant no fabric was wasted, and I sewed (by hand) 420 inches of seams & 660 inches of hem.
540 inches of ruffled salvaged ribbon was sewn onto the hem. The decals from the 2nd pillow sham were cut out, and positioned strategically onto the gown. Then began the fun of designing the bustle.
Jade is a dream to drape. That polyester faux silk is like fabric butter. However, it does not biodegrade like butter.
Front lit or backlit, she shines.
I’m a huge fan of Shehanne’s books. I’ve read all but one, so far. These are just 5 of her titles. Click on the banner to go to her Amazon page!
However, you can read it NOW! Just click on the book cover!
I read if you hit a piece of jade, it rings like a bell. Whether for pleasant listening or for ritual practices, chimes, xylophones, and gongs have been created from melodically resonant jade.
I kept hearing this song while doing the post. Maybe because Sade looks like Jade, but an “s” instead of a “j”. When I learned about jade being resonant, I put it in.
On top of it all, Timothy Price – Off Center Not Evensent me a gift of LED lights with 4 filters: red, orange, yellow and blue. Jade is the first Art Gown learning lesson. I experimented in night, and day.
As Jade retires to the plant room, I’m mini Jade here to say thank you for popping by & come again!
Dahlings, do you just love my hair done as red sails? I feel like I could fly. It makes me think of songs like: Sailing by Christoper Cross, Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin & Come Sail Away by Styx. This brings me to the theme of our Tribute today, Music!
Take it away, Rebecca!
Thank you Rene! We’ve decided to have a bit of fun with “A Tangle of Music”. Each AGM is presented with 2 or 3 bars of 12, that are the instrumental opening to a famous song. There are other clues, as well.
There is an obvious theme running though each AGM’s gown, that pertains to the opening lyrics. Also, as you can see, I am surrounded by the chords in the song. Note: I am holding an A minor in my right hand.
First out on the Catwalk, with the first 2 bars, is AGM Marina in a stunning 1 shoulder, ultra fitted gown with a fish tail hem.
In order to make sure our presentation is sound, we consulted with Trent, & sent him the pic of Marina.
Trent’s reply: “My piano is way off to the side, and I was trying to play it off of the dress, which has the left hand (on the right side) and the right hand (on the left side) with a woman in between. It took a minute.”
Trent’s advice: “It is easier to see if the two parts (called staves) are together. If you can have the line and bracket joining them, a player knows they are played at the same time.”
As you can see AGM Shey holds the next 2 bars, with the staves joined, in one hand. She shows off the full skirt of the drop waist slip style gown in her other hand.
AGigiM is brilliant in pinch tucked trim accentuating a deep v décolletage. Off the shoulder ruffles make for an innocent (don’t be fooled) effect, while a generous side seam insert of pleats adds drama to her every move. Her right gloved hand holds the 5th, 6th & 7th bars.
Dale, our AGM of Thunder feels easy and breezy, as she leans on a fence of the 8th & 9th bars. Inspired by a gypsy’s dance, her gown is full of romance.
Avant Garde is the term for AGM Holly’s asymmetric gown. She stands nonchalantly by the last 3 bars to the intro.
The theme running through the gowns is gold. “There’s a lady who’s sure All that glitters is gold”.
This is an historic tribute performance of the answer!
Now, back to Rene!
Thank you, Rebecca! This is the gown that started it all. It’s a scribble gown, drawn to live music from under Resa’s bed.
Okay, the fun isn’t over yet! Someone’s past boyfriend found them online & sent her the song he wrote for her back when. Perhaps you can guess who? The answer will be on Holly’s blog.
Finally we have many blog pals who make great music. What would a great Tangle be without throwing a few into the snarl!
Click on the cards to visit their Youtube channels!
Check out the music of MK-O – Marina Kanavaki & Oannes (click on above)
After a successful Jazz Age fashion show, Blue Holly’s Tangle- Heart showed her a perfectly rosy pink magic tree sanctuary. She decided to see for herself.
She put on her new Sunny Day Super Hero outfit, for the occasion.
However, when she arrived, the perfect rosy pink was being swallowed slowly by darkness.
Looking to another horizon, the dark sky was giving up a portal. The moon marked the spot. Did the AGMs need to be rescued, again? Their beauty was a curse!
Slipping into her invisibility outfit, she slid through the portal. PBH was shocked to see her old enemy from Super Hero College. It was the insulting shape-shifting spirit, Chainelle; who had managed to usurp the spirit of R. Budd.
PBH took some time to eavesdrop.
“Why is everything so dark and murky?
How am I here? Why am I here? ”
“You aren’t here RB, only your spirit is here. Your lumbersome body is asleep in its bed. You are here to Art Direct a fashion show for the Live Nitoop Network. It will be broadcast over the entire Netherworlds.”
“It’s all Baby Bat SheyGoth’s fault! I was merely planning to usurp her spirit, as payback for her affair with DracGoth. Then I saw that hack, Rene Rosso, hosting the worst fashion show ever.”
“The spirits of the AGMs are backstage, getting dressed in fabulous gowns that I designed. I’ll be shape shifting into mine.”
“Dahlings, welcome to the end all of fashion shows! I’m Chainelle your glorious producer and designer of all the Zombie Theme Gowns you see here tonight. Take it away Rebecca!”
“Thank you, Chainelle! It is with great disconcertion that I present the AGMs in fashions from Erebos.”
“First out on the runway is Gigi. Gigi looks totally not amused. You can’t see them, but the heels of her stilettos are actual stilettos.”
“AGM Holly can barely walk in this prisoner style gown with brick heavy tail. These bondage gowns are quite popular here in Erebos.”
“It’s not AGM Shey’s fault that Drac Goth left Chainelle for her. Nonetheless, she’s stuck here with the rest of us.”
“Check out the accessory of chain, crosses, skulls and spikes. These cost a small fortune in blood, apparently.”
“Marina’s gown is replete with a live snake chained to her arm. Good work, Chainelle!”
“AGM Dale feigns happiness in this, erm, treacle sweet gown designed by you know who.“
“Next out on the catwalk is …Blue Holly in a gown!!! Yay!! Pack it up girls, we’re going home!”
“Hello Chainelle. First send the AGMs and RB’s spirits back to their beds! Then I’m going to thrash you”
Chainelle went wild, shape shifting into a new gown every half second.
“That’s hardly a fair fight. What’s say I send the AGMs & RB back, and we meet for a showdown?”
“Fine! Where and when?”
“Gulf of Mexico, by the coral off the coast of Texas. Tomorrow, noon!”
Blue Holly looked into her Tangle-Heart, and could see the AGMs & RB on their way home.
“Okay, coral…. High noon!”
Rene Rosso spoke to the AGMs & RB from Nowhere & Nothing World, her go to place when dealing with Netherworlds denizens, and their prisoners.
“It will be night when you get home. It will be dark on the way.” Here’s some night travelling music to keep you safe.”
“Hack …my foot! Just to let Chainelle know, as a professional Diva, I can change gowns, hair and make-up in one minute: and I don’t have to shape shift!
Dahlings! Rene Rosso here, welcome to the Jazz Age!
Defined by writers, performers and artists of the time such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker and Thomas Hart Benton, it was more than a Gatsby, Paris or New York moment. So let’s get the full string of beads from our glorious Art Director, Rebecca Budd.
Thank you, Rene! We know the Flapper dress was the cat’s meow and the Charleston was the hoofer’s delight. Still, we should acknowledge that Vionnet and Chanel were the first designers to get rid of the corset, defining the silhouette of the era. Palazzo pants made their debut, and the cloche hat was the keenest.
Here to show you what gowns were all about are the Art Gowns Models! First out on the catwalk is Gigi. Gigi wears a hand painted silk georgette dress, with asymmetric tiers, accentuated by hand rolled satin rattail.
AGM Marina is a Deco Delight in her Gloria Swanson inspired fish tail gown. The fish tail is made completely of metallic gold diamonds, and spills gracefully out onto the floor.
I’d like to take a moment here to acknowledge the brilliant work of “The Beauty Team”. On loan from The Coop; hair, make-up and wardrobe have done an outstanding job.
It was a tough job for Wiggy, to create all those Marcel Waves on the AGMs, who refused to have their hair cut. Nonetheless, between her skill and ingenuity, all the AGMs are finger waved.
Jamie copied the smouldering eyes of the era. Thanks to Clara Bow, eyebrows were severely plucked and pencilled in thin. Of course none of the AGM’s could afford to have their eyebrows plucked due to upcoming runway dates, but Jamie managed a faux look.
Judy did a masterful job making faux feathers out of scrap fabrics, for any trims and boas. Instead of fur, she trimmed Miss Rosso’s velvet Opera Cape, with a lusher napped velvet.
Back on the runway, AGM Dale shows off hand embroidered trims with jewel insets, in this fun design. A cloche hat adds elegance.
Holly works poetry in this AGM must show black silk crepe gown. Its lines are defined with the latest ribbon imports from Europe.
AGM Shey’s gown, made from a glorious silk jacquard, is reminiscent of the late 20’s as the drape flows into the bias cut of 30’s.
I now hand the stage back to Ms. Rosso!
Thank you, RB! I’m thrilled to present our guest performer of the evening. Here’s the bee’s knees, Lala LaSwirl. Lala has been touring the opera circuit under the name “Soprano Charlotte Hoather”! Tonight she will sing Quando M’en Vo from La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini.
Thank you, dahling Rene! I’m thrilled to be here. I could imagine the character, Musetta, wearing this Art Gowns outfit, as it is very glamorous. I could imagine a director selecting the dress if the setting for the performance was the 1920’s era.
After the show, Ms. Rosso was to attend to a Gatsby themed party in a bias cut dress & velvet opera wrap. In a fun mood, she sang along with her favourite entertainer of the era, Josephine Baker.
Out of the blue, RR’s 6th sense slapped her in the face! She stopped dead in her tracks.
She looked into her Tangle-Heart. My, my she thought, things look quite sweet and rosy. It’s, idyllic, so perfect. Something is wrong!
Dahlings, I know look simply marvellous in this pic of my Ziegfeld Follies gown. Sad, but it was lost with all my luggage while on tour 3 years ago. Now, it is my thank you Art Gown.
I adore the new cover for Shey’s book –The Viking and the Courtesan
Let it be known that Shey’s heroines possibly are: strong willed, hard headed, lie, cheat, steal, connive, duplicitous and able to hide a corpse in the cellar. Intrigued? Just click on the book cover and go to her Amazon page!
Ever wonder how to capture mother nature in an Art Gown? After all, there are many aspects to her.
To name a few, she’s Dogmatic & Powerful
Cloudy & Moody
Sunshine & Sunsets
Seasons & Storms.
Then let me introduce you to Tim, to whom Belle Grâce is dedicated. Tim shares all that mystic with us, via photographs from his magic tree sanctuary.
Belle Grâce is constructed from yards & yards of liquidation curtain sheers. At $0.50/yd. the fabric was an Art Gown in waiting. Acetate lining scraps sent to the Art Gowns fabric bin, by a long time friend, were paired with the sheers.
First a full skirt liner was fashioned to fit over the Art Gowns Crinoline. The same Crinoline is used for all full skirted Art Gowns. Then a bodice was draped on the Judy.
Using tailor’s tacks, the drape was opened up, creating a pattern. Again using tailor’s tacks the shape was repeated on a stiff under lining. The goal was to create a corset look, without using boning.
The sheers were gathered and and attached to the over skirt. A diamond of beaded self satin was added to the bodice.
The result – Belle Grâce
Belle Grâce loves all lighting.
The diaphanous layers of sheer over satin solids make for a lot of opportunities.
The natural light this time of year is glorious, as it pours through the windows. A DOP once pointed out to me, you can’t replace the sun.
A gluttony of Outtakes
Here are some of Tim’s spectacular, Art Gowns inspiring photos.
All trees featured in the slideshow have been dedicated to someone. I am pleased to say that all of the AGMs & AG Art Director, Rebecca Budd, have a magic tree of their own.
Magic Hour Back Light
If you click on the Thank you, you’ll visit Holly.
Art Gown Belle Grâcedesigned and handmade by Resa McConaghy – 2021
Princess Blue Holly descended gracefully into Otherworld.
She was led by her Tangle-Heart. A moonless night was falling, as it watched over the defoliated magic trees.
Upon arrival, Blue Holly adopted the garb of the common peoples of Otherworld. She wandered tirelessly through a dark, eternal 3 a.m., searching for SheyGoth.
At first the song was far away, but PBH followed the music. AGM Shey was an incurable romantic. She was sure SheyGoth was behind the music.
As PBH drew near to SheyGoth, DracGoth intercepted.
“Princess Blue, I call you out! You are not in your league here. You have few powers to do anything. SheyGoth is here of her own free will. She can only leave of her own free will. We are Otherworld lovers.”
Blue Holly faced him dead on, albeit a tad cheeky.
“Was it the red hair that tipped you off? Look, I just want to talk to SheyGoth!”
SheyGoth appeared behind her Goth lover.“Princess Blue, I have no desire to talk with you!”
PBH replied, “then at least speak with Rene. You owe her that much. She made you, and all of the Art Gowns Models international celebrities.”
Driven by her love for all her AGM sisters, SheyGoth conceded. Blue Holly chose Nowhere & Nothing World, for the meeting. SheyGoth slipped on a simple gown, thereby becoming AGM Shey for the occasion.
A hologram of Rene Rosso appeared. “Come home dear Shey!”
“Remember the gowns, the colours, the joys of the catwalk? Remember Holly, Dale, Marina & Gigi? Remember how all the AGMs help each other? They wait for you! Rebecca Budd says she can’t do another show without you!”
AGM Shey’s memories filled the air around her. Soon her true colour came back.
AGM Shey looked at RR, and asked,”Will you sing “Once I Was Loved”, by Melody Gardot?”
DracGoth was frantic. “SheyGoth, don’t leave me! I love you! I need you! We are Otherworld lovers!”
“Sorry, Dahling! As much as I love our loving, there is no colour, no daytime, no any other time but 3 a.m. here. The Girlfriends and Gowns are calling. Dahling, you can come up and see me any night! I’ll wait in the dark for you.”
With that, SheyGoth slowly faded into a golden glow. The golden glow was cast upon the leafless magic trees.
Soon AGM Shey’s tree and all other magic trees were green again.
You must be logged in to post a comment.