Saturday, October 1, 2011

Leslie's White Peach

I first thought I would call this post, "The Gilded Leslie" a play on the idea of "gilding the lily."  But gilded lily implies a false shell of beauty, which she does not need.  She is delicate and subtle, and reminds me very much of a white peach, which is also a great name for her new rhythm gown.  She is my second "Golden Girl" of this fall.  She brought her teacher and coach, Kate, to her design meeting and Kate provided a video of a gown she thought would be a good style for Leslie.  I agreed.

Kate's style suggestion was a white slip dress with lace panels, which allowed the sides of the dancer's body to be seen through the openings in the lace.  It had the quality of lingerie, and was sexy in a subtle way.

Leslie is a very modest woman.  She didn't really like the idea of appearing in lingerie, so we were careful to use opaque and substantial fabrics, and also to finish the hem with braid that made it clear that the beautiful end product was a rhythm gown, NOT a slip.

Leslie's new gown is white, and made of two different fabrics; a soft matte white lycra and a voided white lycra with a sheer pattern of interlacing loops and scrollwork at the sides.  Leslie didn't like the idea of being visible through the sheer at her sides, so we backed with voided lycra there with the matte opaque, but used its see-thru beauty in the godets at the base of the skirt, carefully cut never to reveal thighs or hips in turns.  We also added a demi sleeve to the design, which really flatters Leslie's beautiful decolletage.

The gold enters Leslie's picture through her rhinestone choice, Light Peach AB, which gives the gown a delicate golden glimmer.  I filled in the beautiful scrollwork at the sides with the stones to emphasize the pattern, and used less stones at the hem to allow glimpses of Leslie's legs.

My jewelry design takes advantage of the loops and scrollwork in the pattern of the sheer.  I used both Crystal AB and Light Peach AB in the loops, a very subtle difference, that paves the way for a beautiful pair of Crystal AB earrings Leslie she wanted to wear with the gown. 

I think the lovely Leslie wore her new gown last night, at an Dancer's Studio Showcase event, "Under the Big Top."  I missed the event, but I hope she enjoyed herself in her White Peach!


Rhiannon Sue said...

Oh my gosh, Marsha! What a gorgeous design. I love reading about your process. I'm curious to know if you use HotFix or glue-on rhinestones (if you don't consider it a trade secret)? I just used a heat press for the first time last summer, so I'm interested in gathering opinions on one vs. the other.

Also, having seen your beadwork, I enjoy your translation of those methods into this jewelry. Leslie must be one happy lady!

Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

What a good question and no trade secret at all.

Over my almost 25 years of business I have used many different adhesives, including heat transfer. They all have their plusses and minuses.

My current choice is an adhesive made by the Beacon people who make Gem Tac, which they fabricate for a ballroom costume fabric supply in England called Crystal Clover. It's very similar to a product that was called Jones Tones here in the states, but has disappeared from the market. It stays just a little tacky and is very flexible, and is good for dancewear for that purpose, but you can't use it on a skirt that folds upon itself because of the tackiness. Also challenging with mesh and sheers.

I used E-6000 for 18 years, and that works great, but perchlorethelyne, the solvent, is a carcinogen, and when I passed 50, that seemed like a bad idea. LOL. Probably was a bad idea from the beginning, since I sometimes stone for 6-8 hours straight.

I have used hot fix as well, but there are two problems with that for my purposes. First, it takes a long time to heat up and with glue, I can put on about 3 gross an hour. I can't even get close to that with hot fix. A typical gown has 30 - 50 gross of stones on it. Also, I frequently use multiple sizes of stones, and hot fix tools are only one size. You can put hot fix stones upside down in an electric skillet and that goes faster, but putting the stones in takes time, and if you are using different colors, there is no way to tell what you have when they are upside down, and you need tweezers, which get glue on them and stick to everything. Plus, when the gown is sold to a new owner and alterations are necessary, it's really hard to remove the hotfix.

Also, I really think the Hot Fix stones are not as sparkly! Just my opinion. I use Swarovski exclusively, both HF and not, FYI.


Crimson Frog Designs by Kinga Nichols said...

Oh what a wonderful design Marsha! Fit for a queen:)
Your explanation of gluing stones was very educational too.
I heard that E6000 was bad, and I use it all the time, but not for extended periods of time. I do agree though, I would not use it all day. Smells bad too.

Anyhow, the gown is truly beautiful, classy, elegant and sophisticated, but at the same time so much fun too!