Ok. So I’m still planning to talk more about the discoveries I made on Melrose and the two remaining Melrose shops I visited, but I’m trying to arrange a couple of interviews and it’s running a bit slow so I figured I could show a bit more about my work; my blog is meant to be a place where I can feature my art and my projects. Fortunately I have TONS to talk about with my own work and so my blog lives on (meaning I don’t have to hold up to wait to hear back from the shops) and I’ll be able to talk about the cool things I’m doing lately. The Melrose shops I’m hoping to blog about will come in hopefully soon, but lets not limit ourselves and go with the flow.
I’ve done some amazing photoshoots recently and I’m going to roll these into my blogs so that people can see my work. In addition to my Alice Project I did a photoshoot with Jorden Karsten to showcase my ‘Punk’ gown I designed inspired by Punk Rock and the Women’s Suffrage. It’s a gown that started out as a different design that was modeled by Brittany Meeker. Here’s Brittany modeling the gown when it was strapless (bracelet by NewspaperJewelry.com):
The dress was meant to be a statement about saying ‘No’, music and how music can speak for you, inspire you, and give you the courage to speak. As women I believe it’s important to be able to be a feminine, sexy, you without there having to be a reason for you to justify why this feminine/sexy/girl you is out. I believe you have the right to express these qualities of the Feminine and Girl.
And so my initial journey with the gown was a journey in design. It started out as a halter dress, using a black satin sash ribbon to hold it up….but it gave me the look I was going for. My initial model was Brittany Meeker and she was my initial Muse being totally punk, edgy, etc. I designed it with her in mind knowing she’d be perfect. I was thinking Vivienne Westwood…Bowie…The UK Punk Movement….etc. The truth is that the initial concept was simply a rockin’ skirt with a train to die for and a muscle/ripped tshirt, but alas that did not come about….It became a gown….and here is what came out:
I used many band tees to make this gown using punk rock, metal, rock n roll artists/bands graphic t-shirts. I used the wide brim hat to bring in the reference to the time period of the Women’s Suffrage. The hat was loaned from AllThatJazzDesign in Etsy. To get the train correct I visited the hands-on museum at FIDM to take a look at some of the period dress from the Edwardian Period to include looking at a vintage hat.
The trip was amazing and showed me different train styles used on different dresses depending on the occasion to include various embellishments used. I focused on the train as I wanted to be able to pin it up in the back in my own design to give it a modern ‘bustle’ effect so often used in bridal gowns of present day. The problem with my initial design, though it was amazing, was that it couldn’t be ‘put on’ in a traditional way and relied on a ribbon to hold it up. I loved that finishing, but I thought what would happen if I made it such that someone could toss it on? And so I redesigned it to end up with the following final design:
I added short sleeves to the gown along with a couple of shoulder straps to give it additional support and I took the halter bodice and did special stitching to create darts and gathered features to make it more fitted. Model: Jorden Karsten. The final icing on the cake of my gown was when I was able to take a shot of it in the Bradbury Building which was the perfect location to bring my final design to life. Speaking to the manager I learned that there had actually been a Women’s Suffrage office in the building. It couldn’t have been a better thing to have discovered. So a picture showing a design concept realized:
It was truly a dream come true getting it in the Bradbury. It’s now part of my portfolio and I can see that I had a concept and that I was able to materialize it into reality. The Bradbury certainly helps to bring this vibe forward with the time period due to the references in the amazing architecture. This looks amazing for my portfolio/resume because it shows that I can capture more than just the design. I can capture a moment through the right placement of a garment into the perfect backdrop.
Thanks so much to the models who helped me. Thanks to the Bradbury Building who helped me with design project. Also thanks to FIDM because I was able to use their museum repository to validate some of my own design features and inspire me for future designs, but my thanks also includes my the instruction I’ve received there because I used a lot of different techniques learned from classes as well as my own discovered techniques that I hope to continue to develop. I also want to thank Amoeba Records and Floyd’s Barbershop for allowing me to do slammin’ photoshoots with my gown at their locations. I was able to see new sides to my gown and how it had range outside of its initial concept I had in mind. It became Boho. It became Circus chic. It became retro. It’s all in the styling and background. The joys of these shoots I’ll cover more in another post where I show more fantastic photography.
So where is my gown now? Well it’s a sample and so I’ll be redesigning another using some of the things I learned to improve the design, but in the interim I’ll likely loan out my sample to continue to let it get time outside so it can be worn and seen. This will continue to let me see how the design holds up over time….over use….over washings….this is the most amazing thing about it is watching my design go out and see what comes back.