Friday, April 27, 2012

Karen's Magical Hologram Sequin Cloth

Karen visited my studio with her friend Jeannie, at the design meeting for Jeannie's velvet Tropical Paradise gown.

While Jeannie and I worked, Karen fell in love with a swatch of fabric. Not just any piece of fabric, and I wish, wish, WISH!, I could show you this fabric in person, because no photograph will ever do it justice.

Karen's fabric is a stretch mesh, covered with hologram effect turquoise sequins. The holographic diffraction on these tiny sequins works in the same way as the miniscule spiraling ridges on a CD.  So image thousands of teensy turquoise CD's, about 1/4 inch in diameter, sewn onto cloth and you have the general idea of the amazing magic of Karen's fabric.

This is not a fabric for all body types. It magnifies and amplifies body shape. Fortunately, Karen is trim and
fit, and can afford to have her lovely curves highlighted. This fabric must also be cut and fit carefully to lie smoothly on the body with the fewest possible seams.

Karen is a past Mrs. Minnesota, who created her own pageant gown and is a capable seamstress herself.  She had looked at silhouettes and knew approximately what shape she wanted her gown to take.  I agreed that her idea was a good one, and refined it a bit for her.  She chose a asymmetrical bodice, with a soft (and shiny!) full skirt, to enable it to hold it's own against the dazzle of the sequin cloth.  Since there was no prefect matching color for the turquoise of the sequin cloth, especially given that it changed colors itself, Karen found an electric green georgette, and we layered the two fabrics to get an nice match, as well as providing visual interest for the skirt in movement. 

Given the all-over glimmer of the fabric, we decided to define and embellish the edge of the bodice with texure and color, rather than more sparkle, and chose two colors of acrylic cabochons that again, blended to make a perfect hue.  Karen agreed to do the embellishment of her gown, once it was finished, and did a great job of applying the acrylic cabs.
Karen wanted co-ordinating jewelry, and we wanted it to stand out as different from the border embellishments, so we chose to use both some of the large cabochons and Crystal AB Swarovski as an accent, and again, Karen did her own embellishment application. 
 And finally, here are a few shots of Karen from her performance, with teacher James Woods, at the Snowball, January 2012.


Kate Tracton said...

I like everything about this gown: the shimmer of the sequins, the flash and dazzle of the skirts, the dynamic lines, everything! It must be a wonderful experience to work so closely with a client who knows exactly what she wants.



Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

Thanks for reading and commenting Kate! I find that everyone knows what they want in their hearts. Some dreams are easy to oncover and others take a lot of digging. :o) I think designing an image for someone other than yourself is a very interesting process. I am never bored at work! You are right, Karen was EASY and fun to work with!

Crimson Frog Designs by Kinga Nichols said...

Wow Marsha, I missed out on this, and it's possibly my favorite dress of yours so far. I can't get enough of how beautiful it is on Karen. It really follows her every curve and it's just dreamy in every way.I love, love, LOVE this one!

Lisa said...

Wow....what a beautiful dress!

Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

Kinga and Lisa, thank you so much for reading and commenting!