Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ember's Icy Skyline

Ember is an accomplished woman, with a busy life as the Chief Advancement Officer with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. Known for her work as a broadcast political analyst, she is also an attorney, former Minnesota state senator, former radio personality, and enjoys acting in local community theatre productions. 

After some years away from competitive ballroom dance, she visited my studio last fall to ask my professional opinion of several gently used gowns she was considering buying for use in a local "Dancing with the Celebrities" charitable event. I gave her my thoughts and we artfully adjusted her choice (a Made for Movement gown) to fit. She looked great in the gown. and dazzled the crowd at her event with her winning performance.  Here you see her with her Dancer's Studio teacher Chris Kempainen, (also wearing a Made for Movement ballroom suit) holding their trophies.

She must also have been having a good time, because she decided to return to competitive dance and asked me to design a custom rhythm gown for her for the Snow Ball, which I was glad to do. 

As her career would suggest, Ember is a conservative woman, at home in tailored suits and not really interested in ruffles or overly-feminine details on her clothing.  As a dancer, she has both good performance skills, and long, attractive lines to display.  Ember wanted a gown that would be reflective of her stately elegance, and also her joyfulness at her return to dancing.

We wanted her gown to have simple, sleek lines, and be all one color.  Ember chose fuchsia, (a very popular choice in the last year) and it certainly is a joyful color.  We wanted her rhythm look to flatter her body and be tasteful and appropriate to her age.  We chose a longer, soft skirt with nice movement, but not fussy frills or ruffles, and sleeves to connect her slim arms to her body and emphasize her long lines. 

Ember is dancing here with her dance professional and teacher, the wonderful Scott Anderson, who is also the organizer of the Twin Cites Open. Ever an aware guy on the floor, he noticed me with my camera, and moved closer, so my photos are a little better than usual here!  Ember has a lovely hourglass figure with a very small waist and we planned to reveal her waist while de-emphasizing her bust and hip with diagonal design lines, meticulously placed in fittings to flatter and define.

Although her skirt is long, we used a diagonal hemline to allow us to see her legs and knees in action.

When it came to embellishment, in keeping with Ember's dislike of the overdone and fussy, I let her look through a collection of prom dresses. She found one with details she liked, and I used those details as inspiration for the rhinestone application, as you can see here.
I applied the stoning to the top of the bodice, and my partner Michele did the hip line.  I thought (perhaps influenced maybe by working on this gown in January) that the detail looked like icicles on a roof.  Like the story of the blind men and the elephant, Michele thought it was a lovely representation of a winter night time city skyline.  I'm fond of the cuff detail as well.
Ember was a joy to work with, and we look forward to seeing her again, when she is ready for her next custom gown.