Enjoying the chill in the air and dreaming up designs in velvet and wool.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Architect's Gown

Some of my favorite design influences are artists, architects, and furniture-makers of the late 19th/early 20th century. I'm no student of the Prairie School and I couldn't necessarily look at a given structure and tell you who created it; but there is something running through many of the designs from the era that makes my heart hum happily whenever I encounter it.

Now, I promised photos of this gown to you months ago but have run into multiple snags getting it actually ON A MODEL and professionally shot (can't have anything to do with the fact that I initially made it for a model who is 5'10" and a size negative 2!) The gown was displayed at my latest artisan-market-day and I took a couple of minutes during the beautiful sunlit afternoon to snap a pic or two.

click to enlarge

The body fabric is ivory silk dupioni, and the hand-pieced panel down the front is made of a dozen different fabrics from other gowns I've made. Silks, a satin, linens, hemps, bamboo, cotton; all in shades of ivory and white. Each tiny section is outlined with a heavy machine topstitch in ivory to mimic the leading in a stained glass window. This is perhaps the most fun I've yet had in creating a gown and I'm in love with it! One of the things that delights me about this gown design is that the "window" will necessarily vary from dress to dress, as it will be created to specifically complement the shape and scale of the custom-fit gown.

click to enlarge
Now, in related news, I am hard at work designing a completely new gown for the next NotWedding in Atlanta this March! The theme has a bit of a 1920s vibe to it, and my mind is swirling with ideas. I will, however, be taking an entire week off after Christmas to read, write, clean, and organize, and in general clear the slate to begin 2012 with an unobstructed view to the horizon.

Have a lovely last couple of weeks of the year, friends. Practice joy as you celebrate the holidays with people you love (and people you have to work on loving!) As you find yourself overflowing, may your abundance nourish others. As you find yourself empty, may you find that which was meant to fill you. To all of you - Merry Christmas!

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