Did you ever design a gown for a real life Super-Hero?
It’s nerve wracking, isn’t it?
My 6th “Art Gown” goes out to Wendy Anderson who portrays Nealy Gone, a chronic wallflower, who at 50 years old embraces the heat and changes of menopause to become an ass-kicking Super Hero, The Hot Flash
The gown to be was screaming “I’m hot! I’m red! I’m satin!”
So, I went with it, and draped a classic body shape with a modern bodice on Judy.
I used French darts to shape the bodice.
The back was a lot of sexy fun.
Of course in reality the bodice would be heavily corseted.
Both sides of the center front, the French darts and the back’s 3/4 panels would all have to be boned.
Then I needed some fire. As I’m very partial to tails, I decided a spread tail, like fox’s, no point at the end and in red hot sequin eyelash was the way to go. Once the tail was in, I began talking to the gown, calling her my Crimson Fox.
Then I began thinking about mood swings, and the need for the cooling effect of fans, so I began changing things up a bit.
Crimson Fox and I love, love, love “The Hot Flash” and want it to be a Web Series.
Did you ever design a gown about falling in love, and dreams of romance?
Well I did, because “love rules”!
So it makes total sense that my “Art Gown” #5 has been inspired by Imelda Evans of Wine, Women and Wordplay. Imelda is an author, and her first novel out is an EBook romance, “Rules Are For Breaking”on the “destiny Romance” label.
Having read the book, the first thing I was inspired to do was make 4 dozen silk organza flowers in shades of Mango.
To prevent fraying, I cut strips of true bias in five widths (2-6 inches) then made squares.
I fan layered 4 squares of the same size, ran a large hand stitch through the center to give me a point from which to pince, twist and secure with a few hand stitches.
Each flower came out different. I used a wired organza ribbon in green to mock leaves.
I saw the flowers on a black velvet gown with a cut silk velvet asymmetrically draped, creating subtle lines.
When the gown was finished, I had to ask it a question about Imelda.
“How did Imelda feel when she found out she was a 2012 finalist in Australian Romance Reader Awards”?
Of course Dream Of Love had a direct quote.
“In answer to your question, my initial reaction to being a finalist was shock. I truly got chills. It honestly had never occurred to me that I would be on the list. So when I came across my name and my book, at first, I hardly believed it.
I closed my eyes and opened them again. Then I scrolled up to the top of the page to make sure that I was really reading the list of finalists. Then I went back and looked again.
Then I went back onto facebook and found someone I knew who was online (it was quite late) and got them to confirm that I wasn’t hallucinating. And through it all, my skin was clammy with the shock.
Since then, whenever I think about it, it has made me so happy.
I know my book isn’t the best book of 2012, but to be someone’s – anyone’s – favourite anything is so humbling and delightful. It is so encouraging! I can’t please all of the people all of the time, but if I have pleased even one person that much, I’m very, very happy.”
Did you ever feel like sculpting a gown, but marble and clay aren’t materials you work with?
I faced that exact conundrum when designing my fourth “Art Gown” which is inspired by Robyn from THROUGH THE HEALING LENS
Robyn’s Photos combined with her poetry are soothing, loving experiences.
When I asked her about color, she replied that she loved earth tones, and blue like the sky. I also thought of water, as many of Robyn’s pictures are from the beach.
I found a piece of stretch fabric that made me think of deep blue water.
To keep with a sculptural art theme, I stretched a two-piece sarong reminiscent of a 1940’s glamor cut over Judy.
I then began draping a piece of fabric I found in Affordable Textiles, a store on Queen West, pretty close to Qe.
When I saw it on the bolt, I blurted out that it looked like a sky with clouds. At that point the proprietor informed me that I was looking at the wrong side of the fabric.
Draping in the spirit of ancient Rome or Greece was a lot of fun.
Using the wrong side of the fabric, I split it lengthwise, divided one of the lengths into thirds then slashed up for about 2 feet.
I braided the thirds into a front strap, and did the same for the back.
As an amateur photographer, I rely on natural light. I wanted a sunny day to take the pics of Blue Venus, so the sky with clouds effect would be perfect. The sun peeked out only a few moments. I did my best, and over exposed when things got too, dark.
Did you ever design a magic gown that seemed to light itself?
Well, this “Art Gown” inspired by Carolyn from ABC of Spirit Talk turned out to do just that.
I love Carolyn’s “Reflections” and she has been a joy to me for almost a year now.
When I realized she enjoys Ballroom Dancing and loves a Waltz, I saw flowing white swans.
After she told me gold was a favorite color, I saw this modern fabric called Liquid Lamé. I decided to combine it with the most delicate of traditional white netting, shimmered and dotted with gold. Would these diametrically opposed fabrics work together?
As usual, I began by draping the bodice. The ruching down the center back took about 30 pins to hold in place. I was thrilled with the outcome.
I draped the underskirt in Lamé, added the over-skirt in net, and took a making of shot. I repositioned Judy, and shot the front. It was then I saw the dynamics of light with this creation.
I took off the over-skirt, threw a sash around Judy’s waist and made the tails into rosettes. I shot the gown in this state then re-attached the over skirt, and shot some more. Here’s what happened.
It’s incredible what the gown revealed. Sometimes the net even looked like clear plastic.
“N” said if the pics were in black and white, it would look like it was from another era, another place in time. I couldn’t resist. Sure enough, Carolyn’s gown is not only lux magic, it is lux mystic.
Carolyn’s gown welcomes us in one place then says farewell from another.
Much like Carolyn, her gown is divinely enchanting!