Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jane's Purple Volcano

Sometimes my clients want to change the image they present on the competition floor, and Jane was ready for a change.  Here's her first rhythm gown, which I thought looked very nice on her, and obviously had good movement as well.  It was not a Made for Movement gown, although I did adjust the fit for her.  I think it is playful and fun, and a bright, vibrant and visible color, all good things on the floor.  I also thought the bare chest and shoulders were flattering.

But Jane wanted a change.  Something more "grown-up" looking, and more understated and elegant.  So we set to work on a design that would flatter her body, and create the impression of elegance and maturity.  We started with a deeper richer color, and a more complex grouping of lines and shapes.  We softened the skirt, removed some weight, and used a more transparent fabric to feature her pretty legs, although we wanted to maintain good potential for movement in the skirt so used a similar volume of fabric. 

We also moved the focus from the center of her body to one side and  provided a vertical division.  We achieved this division in two ways.  We used opaque draped dance crepe on one side of the gown and sheer stretch mesh on the other side, as well as using different embellishment on each side.  We also found a bronze scrollwork applique we thought might provide a hint of vintage antique aesthetic to use a a base for our rhinestone decoration.

Decorating this gown was fun.  We chose a Swarovski effect crystal called Volcano for the scrollwork details and the sheer mesh portion of the gown.  Effect crystals are a different color viewed from a different angle.  Volcano viewed directly from the front is a pinky purple, but as you move to the side for an oblique view, it turns a green gold.  One stone, multiple colors.  This too added a mysterious complexity to the gown.  You can see the effect at work by looking at the bust area of the gown in this photo.  As we view the crystal headon at the bust point, the purple color blends into purple mesh, providing just sparkle.  Beneath the bust, where you view the stone at an angle, you can see the vibrant gold color of the effect, and as your eye traces the curves, you can see the transition from purple to pink to deep, bronzy gold. We used Amethyst crystals on the opposite draped crepe side, which are simply purple from all angles, providing lots of sparkle, but less color drama.  All of the scrollwork is embellished with larger Volcano crystals, and even some big sew-on jewels for added punch.  We did the embellishment work in stages, allowing Jane to decide how much sparkle she wanted to see and consequently, allowing her to choose the final cost of her gown.  Jane chose plentiful rhinestone embellishment, and was pleased with her decision.  We did not stone the skirt, wanting to keep the focus on the pretty shape of the handkerchief hem, and allow our eyes to see though the fabric to her shapely legs.  I like the assymetrical balance of this gown.

Since we were not revealing as much skin at the top of the gown, we opened one sleeve with a keyhole and embellished it with our scrollwork applique. 

We also opened a keyhole at the back of the gown.

And here is a shot of those lovely legs in their new skirt.

We do not yet have competition photos to post, but I have seen Jane's video from Wisconsin State, and both she and her new gown look wonderful. and move beautifully!  I think we achieved Jane's elegant new look successfully.

We are in the process of creating a new ballgown as well, and I am enjoying working with Jane again!  When we are finished, I look forward to sharing our work with you.


WhiteRabbitJewelry said...

How wonderfully light and seductive at the same time! I love the usage of the volcano Swarovskis, they really give it that extra shine and sparkle, but I also just love how soft and flowing the skirt is, and that you left it un-embellished. Just like there is no lightness without dark, I feel like it adds a lot to the design to have areas for the eyes to rest upon, like the skirt, which, in it's softness, provides contrast to the shine and sparkle of the bust. And purple being my favorite color,I really just adore this piece. Absolutely perfect in every possible way. Bravo!

Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

Thanks so much Kinga! I appreciate both your reading time and your insightful comments.