Monday, October 22, 2012

A Bouquet of Roses for Tracy

This gown was actually begun in 2011, when our client Tracy was headed for the Ohio Star Ball.  Unfortunately, life intervened, and Tracy put the gown on hold for several months while finding a new job.  When she phoned to let us know we could begin again, we were thrilled, both for Tracy, and because this was a gown we were excited to make!

Tracy is a super-organized woman, and when she brings me her inspiration images, they are always in page protectors and  she usually has clear ideas about what she wants.  See???


When I look a this array, I see, shades of pink, floral imagery, and prints, but my eye keeps returning to the upper left image of the cut-metal bowl.  I loved how the graphic repeated and how it referenced "rose" without being specifically detailed.  I also really liked the visual importance of the negative space in recognizing the image.  Tracy is is feminine woman, and although she liked the floral imagery, she did not want silk flowers or anything three-dimensional, or even a print.  She was also interested in clean lines, simple shapes and lots of sparkle  I think there was also a buckled leather cuff with chain that she brought in.  So all these ideas poured into the creative hopper, and out came rhinestoned belts and buckles and a figure-ground reversal floral pattern imagery, to be created in rhinestones on the gown bodice.

I experimented with the graphic in the bowl, but didn't like how it expanded and contracted, so I found another using Google images from Sweet Clip Art that I thought was perfect.  I got permission from the artist who created it, who was very charming and wanted to see what I did with her image when I was finished.

I  blew it up.  I contracted it.  And then I designed vines to go with it, and a rose bud.  The darn bud reminded me of the Hallmark logo a bit, but I found, turned sideways, it was less offensive and so used it careful only on angles.


I find the back very pleasing with it's pretty drape to balance the gentleman's hand on the dancer's left side and provide a bit of softness and movement.  I also like the placement of buckles, two at the front opposite sides, and the one center back.

We also had lots of fun creating the bangle bracelets for this gown, using many different patterns and ideas.

I'm pleased with the end result and I hope Tracy will be too.  She wore it at Minnesota Madness last weekend and I was thrilled to see it (and Tracy!) in action.  It's sophisticated and beautiful, as is she!


3 comments:

thereinventedlass said...

Absolutely stunning as always! You truly have a magical gift.

Saturday Sequins said...

Marsha, wow!!! An absolutely stunning dress. Spectacular.

I wonder, have you ever done tambour embroidery on your gowns? A friend of mine, Robert Haven, does some fantastic things with a tambour hook. I could see you working wonders with one. :)

Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

Hi SS! Well, no, I have not done tambour embroidery. I looked up the process and it looks like fun! And there are beautiful results. But, I doubt the budgets of my clients could afford it, plus, my end results need to stand next to gowns coated in rhinestones. The subtlety of metallic threads or delicate beads used with those threads just could not compete. Literally! Plus there is also the stretch factor. Dance wear must stretch. So stones and glue do that. I could do edges of embroidery, I expect, because I can stop the stretch of small portions of a gown with appliqued lace, etc. A really interesting thought for the day though. Thank you!