Sunday, 18 November 2012

The die is cast

Vogue 1302

Well, my plan to make Vogue 1302 has been put on hold for a while, as I simply can't find any suitable fabric that I like. I've tried three local fabric shops and various mail order companies, to no avail. Actually, I did find something suitable mail order, but at £47.50 per metre it would have been a very expensive dress. Not even the recent trip to London came up with anything that fitted the bill.

I did find my dream dress in London however, which would be perfect for the occasion (a "Vegas Night" with the Ya Raqs girls).

Embroidered wild silk cocktail dress

There are just two, slight, problems. Firstly, I am not remotely the shape to fit into this dress, and all the boning and powernet in the world would not change that.

Serious curves, and a back view

Secondly, and slightly more problematic, it is a 1962 Christobal Balenciaga dress in the V&A's permanent costume collection.

As I don't embroider nearly quickly enough to recreate the dress for our Christmas night out, I'll have to come up with an alternative. Sticking with the taffeta-like satin which I wanted to use, and the 1950s/1960s theme, I've turned for inspiration to two other dresses which I've seen this year and really liked. The first was in the Glamour exhibition, the opening dress in fact.

Inspiration number one

A 1950s red silk satin cocktail dress by Branell at Julius Garfinckel, USA. I loved the fact that it's not too fussy and is mostly about the shape, but the wrap detail at the waist gives it a certain something.

The second dress dates is from Shambellie House. It dates from 1961, and is made from pale green artificial silk. Although a similar shape to the cocktail dress above, it was worn as a bridesmaid's dress. The fitted waist section is actually a continuation of the full skirt, with the fabric taken into pleats. The seam lines are just visible.

Inspiration number two, a theme is emerging!

So, I have a definite idea. One obvious difference is that I'm using patterned fabric, not plain. I can't get any more of the fabric, and I'm not using a commercial pattern, so I'll need to draft the pattern pieces before I'll know if my idea is actually possible. Oh, and all this with less than a month to go.

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