Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cathy's First Gown

Cathy is a confident and lovely young dancer at Arthur Murray St. Paul, and her teacher Nate suggested she visit me when she was ready to have her first ballgown created.  Both Nate and his wife Rachel, also an Arthur Murray instructor and counselor, offered their ideas about what the general impression of Cathy's gown should be.   Nate said, "poised, regal and elegant" and Rachel offered "demure, lighthearted, and clean."  Cathy brought me lots of mages all of which featured cool, peacock colors and most of which also had floral motifs.  We decided that purple was the right royal touch, and used jeweled floral lace to ensure the gown had a youthful and lighthearted quality.

I see what Nate meant by "poised."
Cathy did lots of rhinestone application on her gown to help keep costs reasonable.  I finished her necklace and earrings for her, to show her what I had in mind for the lace.
 Then, using the lace as a guide and doing a sort of "paint by number" process, she spent about 20 hours, over a 10 day period, adding stones to the lace on the front...
...and the back of the bodice...

... the cuffs,

... and the barette.
  Because Cathy's hair is dark, we backed the barette with black ultrasuede, so the jeweled flowers could appear to sit neatly in her hair, which I think worked out nicely!
Then Cathy returned the gown to me, after a practice session to assure that everything worked as expected and to give her time to get used to the idea of wearing the gown.  She was so sweet, telling me how hard it had been to dance in it the first time without trying to watch the dress move in the mirror instead of concentrating on her dancing, and how exhilirating it was to feel fabric swirling around her legs and seeing the cuffs sparkle as she extended  her arms.  I can remember those feelings well, and some of my professional clients intentionally get new costumes for big competitions, specifically for the added sense of excitement and discovery they provide.
 I finished the gown by placing the less-fun-to-apply, but equally important, amethyst stones on the gown bodice, and then, I installed a delightful detail.  The electric blue pearl chiffon underskirt provides flashes of color in movement and adds a great deal of depth to the layers of skirt.  I was fortunate to see her dance at her showcase event on Sunday, and take a few photos. 
And that is Made for Movement menswear on Nate as well.  Don't they look wonderful?

I love working with first-time clients and Cathy did an wonderful job of both the rhinestone application, and with trusting me and the Made for Movement process.  I look forward to working with her again!

In the mean time, as Rachel suggested to Cathy when she called after wearing the gown for the first time and was sad to have to take it off, "It would not be entirely wrong to watch TV in it some night..."

1 comment:

Crimson Frog Designs by Kinga Nichols said...

What a fun story! If I was Cathy, I think I would watch tv in the new gown, just once at least:))
She looks like a queen in it, and I just love the flowery pattern you created with the rhinestones, and it was sheer genius to add black ultra suede to the barrette, it makes the jewels seem to float on her dark hair.