Monday, December 10, 2012

Opening Night Dress 2013: Inspiration and Sketch

 Ah! Where to begin? I guess with the fact that I LOVE dressing up. I've been realizing more and more recently that getting all spiffy is a hobby of mine and I YEARN for occasions to do so. I'm really thinking more and more that I need to marry a man with a career that mandates fancy parties, so politician, philanthropist, actor/director/producer.

The fanciest party I get to attend in the near future will be the USF summer opening night party. Last year I made a dress, then found a vintage beaut and wore that instead. This year I have the intense pleasure of having Jack C. Schmitz as my 24/7 style consultant. I decided on full length this year and Jack suggested late 1930s surrealism as a jumping board. I really have a 40s/30s body, so that's why we're sticking around this era. The silhouette is also not SO formal that it'll be inappropriate for said party. These decisions led to many facebook convos exchanging Pinterest links that eventually got me to this beautiful 1931-32 Schiaparelli from the Philadelphia Museum of Art:

I was attracted to the draped skirt and lost my mind when I read that the train IS the drape. This is perfect bc if I ever have a more formal occasion you better believe that train's coming down! And wouldn't you know? I have 12 yds of a beautiful medium weight knit from Michael Levines in a deep and rich teal. Not the most summery of colors, but I love it and it makes my eyes pop.

So, that's the skirt. Obviously with my modesty standards the top needed to be different. Jack Jack and I started discussing color blocking and I eventually settled on nude on top in some way, then found this Jenny Packham dress on my bridal board:

Super simple, neckline pleats and set in sleeves with sheer and beaded shoulders and sleeves. Mine will be in nude with bugle and seed beads. I'll look for a belt and/or trim in NYC when I go, or I can make one. The train can hook under the belt, or if I line the top (as yet undecided) I can hook it under the waist like the original.

color rendering to come
This is going to take a lot of work, but it won't be all that hard necessarily. I've never done an evening gown in knit. I've been researching online and reading my books and picking Jack's brain (who is currently KILLING it at Parsons Meares in NYC). There will be a mock up and the beading will be done on a hoop before the pieces are actually cut. Like I said, it's going to be a lot of work and is going to take awhile. Add the fact that I don't have access to dress forms or drafting tables. This is going to be an adventure!

Below is a quick sample I did with some silver bugle beads I have. The collar I got from Seoul has silver bugle and champagne seed beads, I want to do something along those lines for when/if I decide to wear my collar with the dress. The back is beaded as you might tell from the sketch. I want the nude to look like shimmering skin. Cross your fingers! I'm anticipating at least 3 leisurely weeks of just beading.

And what height of shoe should I wear with it? I have 4" nude pumps, but to be honest heels that tall at a party where everyone stands makes it pretty awkward to talk to anyone but Jack (when he stands up straight). 3" heels only make me 6'2". I wear heels bc they make my legs and butt look fantastic, but the legs are taken out of the equation in a full length skirt. Decisions decisions!

I can't tell you how great it is to have a project to think about. I want to make at least a couple more items for my NYC trip and other USF events, so it's good that I have 6 1/2 months for this. Hoping I can get it all done except for hems by the time I get back to Cedar. Then Jack can help me :).

Also, I got hired by David's Bridal as a part time sales associate! I start training next week, so I better get some work done this week! I'm excited to have something to do and to be making money and to be in the bridal business as I hope one day to have a custom LDS standards boutique. 

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