Monday, September 12, 2011

Prom? Anyone?

This week I have two 1950's-style dresses to share.

Tulle petticoat with bound edges

For her 40th birthday party, Tashkah planned a 1950's Prom Night theme. She obviously wanted to feel like the belle of her ball, and so we worked on a design that incorporated her "ultimate" features, like a wide gathered sash, plunging neckline and a flattering skirt shape: even though she really wanted a full Dior skirt, we went with a straight pencil skirt, in a cotton/polyester remnant that I finally sourced in the perfect colour: vintage aqua.

Colour reference, aqua, plus ruffles. Gosh.

Belt reference

Sweetheart neckline and clevage "reference".

So it came together as a shift-style dress, below the knee of course. We added a bit of drama via a voluminous, aqua silk organza sash to be tied into a theatrical bow, accented with a vintage jewelled piece that Tashkah sourced. This gave Tashkah a nice streamlined silhouette, as well as incorporating the volume for which the 50's look is really famous.

Tashkah, on right, in Aqua prom dress with organza bow.

Photo © Paul Shire All Rights Reserved 

Sadly, I hear, the organza got a bit mutilated in the dressing process, so it's not all fluffy like it should be, but it's still fun!


The second dress featured today was made for a client who just loved the vintage look, and finally decided to get a version made, after coveting the style for ages.

Vogue Vintage Patterns available online, we chose to use the black design. 
The black dress on the right was the chosen style and I made it up in a polyester satin, from Rathdowne Fabrics. This made it possible to wash at home, and much more user friendly than a silk faille or crepe verison. Also better on the budget.

This commission was more of a costume than a fashion item: a dress-up dress!

Black satin 1950's cocktail dress with sash, shown with petticoat.
Neckline with cotton lace and cornelli ornamentation
This was a fairly straightforward job, making up from the pattern, and tailoring to the Client's shape.
We did vary the design slightly by not inverting and stitching the skirt pleats, because in polyester satin, that's pretty much a lost cause.

We added some details, including lace and satin ribbon cornelli.


Lastly today, just to finish off the 50's theme, here is another in my series of promo sketches for vintage cocktail recipe cards.

Reproduction 1950's  Fashion Illustration © E.Christian 2011

Time for a Manhattan please.

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