Zhuojing stopped in this afternoon to show me her finished gown, and I think she did a wonderful job with the rhinestone embellishment! Many of my clients who enjoy crafts and have good motor skills save money by applying their own Swarovski crystals. We usually design with that in mind, so that frustration is kept to a minimum and rewards are maximized.
In this case, we used stretch lace fabric and a lace applique shoulder detail (a last minute idea of hers, which I think turned out very well) to serve as guides for the stoning, and a random sparkle pattern on the other side of the gown, with a dense edge for definition. We used Sun AB on the lace and applique, for a vibrant accent and contrast to the Hyacinth on the other side. I think she did an especially nice job with the bottom of the sleeve edge!
Zhuojing had rented one of my other client's gowns for a recent competition, and that gown became our design starting point. She wanted her gown to be graceful and sensual, hence the soft georgette skirts. We felt it was important that she wear a bright color because she is a wonderful dancer, but a very small woman. To be seen, she needs to wear an eye-catching hue. Super-saturated neon tones are also really lovely with her Asian skin coloring and thick black hair.
So this Latin gown is Flame Red, and the accents and lace are Sunglow and Mandarin. I especially like the Mandarin satin binding on the edge of the skirt, which helps to tie the lower half of the gown to the Yin/Yang lace detail on the bodice.
While Zhuojing was in my studio, she let me take these photos, and then we counted the stones she was returning to me, to know how many she had applied to the gown. When we finalized her invoice I was within $8.18 of our original estimate, which always makes me (and my clients as well, I am sure) very happy!
We also created a cuff bracelet and two armbands of the lace, which were stoned very densely to make them pop as details. Zhuojing is still finishing the crystal application on her earrings.
Now all that is left is for Zhuojing to compete in her gown and send me a few fantastic photos to add to my gallery! In the mean time, here's a couple shots of the big picture.
Zhuojing is a pleasure to work with, and I am really looking forward to a new ballgown this fall!