Friday, May 17, 2013

Nancy's Silk Skirt Gets a New Lease on Life

Seven years ago, Nancy brought me a wonderful silk georgette skirt.  She wanted it used to create and ballroom costume and we decided that costume could be both a rhythm gown and a smooth dress, by making the skirt removable.  It was her first ballroom costume collaboration and the results were good!  This is the rhythm dress we created, and the skirt pulled on underneath the dress to convert it to a ballgown.

I wish I had taken a photo of the skirt alone, before I incorporated it into Nancy's new ball gown, but I did not manage to do that.  I did take a quick shot of the embellished leotard with the skirt before it was assembled into the new gown, so you can see the relationship in the graphics.

AND I can show you the skirt in its new configuration!

In both cases, the embellishment details for the gowns were suggested by the graphic design in the skirt.  The first was a simpler, brighter, bronze level result,  and the new one is, for me, a WOW! 

My partner Michele and I debated and sampled several different processes to recreate the graphic on Nancy's new French Vanilla leotard base.  We knew we wanted the lines to be defined in the same way as they were on the skirt and then embellished with jet stones and flatback pearls.  After testing appliqued strips of black fabric, and the meticulous application of black permanent fabric marker, we decided that the latter had the most similar visual effect to that of the skirt.  After careful design and planning, and much pre-washing of the red lycra to avoid any post process color bleeding, we were very plesed with our results!

This is certainly the gown of a more advanced and more experienced dancer, one who knows she will be seen, even in black.  And a more elegant and serious look than the original.  When she picked up her gown, she brought in a Light Siam choker style necklace and bangles I had made for another costume of hers, and they looked perfect!

I am really wishing I could be at the Arthur Murray Showcase this weekend to see Nancy, Christy, and also Linda, who has a new Gently Used Rhythm Gown dance, but I will be at MN Star Ball on the other end of town.  I hope you will make it to one event or the other, and I hope anyone at the Arthur Murray showcase with a digital camera might send me a few images to keep me posted on what I am missing!  Good luck to you, my lovely ladies!

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