Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hello Balenciaga, take me with you

This week I have a dress to share, which I made for myself. This in itself, is a revolution for me, and only happens if I absolutely have the motivation and fabrics available. And time of course. 

I was going to a ball last weekend, in the country. I tend to over-dress for these occasions because, well, I love dressing up. No chance should be wasted!

For this outfit I was inspired by Christobel Balenciaga. I went to the Grace Kelly show in Bendigo a few months ago and found my favourite items were Balenciaga's gowns from the early 1960's for the Princess of Monaco. They had a tighter, exquisite silhouette, than the New Look from the forties and fifties. With a high waisted silhouette to the floor in slim line skirts with the fullness at the waist, it's a slight tweak of the dominant 1950's poodle skirt that's been hashed over and over for the last 30 years in the name of "retro".

The cover of a new book about Balenciaga that I purchased from the Grace Kelly exhibit,
via BeaHiveBlog

Classic late 50's/early 60's line, with wasp waist and full hipline, but a more tapered skirt hem.
via ClosetMelbourne

Balenciaga original: High-waisted silhouette with full gathers at waist,

via CountessdeVintage, originally from
The Prince and Princess of Monaco, Grace in Balenciaga, via Tacchi e Polpette, shown in colour below.

Embroidered Balenciaga bolero, via Tacchi e Polpette

Designed for Grace Kelly by Balenciaga, via Tacchi e Polpette
This dress/ suit above was a knock-out for me. I love the blocked colours, the absolute mastery of tone and texture, the clean lines.

So, moving on, I found a beautiful silk organza at Rathdowne Remnants, embroidered, and ridiculously well priced. 

With 2.5m of this amazing stuff, I made a little tailored bolero jacket, and a long skirt along the lines of these above designs, but obviously not approaching any of that kind of elegance or excellence. We mortals can only try.

I put the jacket and skirt with a velvet corset that I cropped from a tiny op-shop dress, which has very amazing brass emboridery on the front. I wanted to get into the "layers of texture" trend thats coming out of Europe for A/W 2013, so the embroidered silk and brass details together were perfect. The revival of extremely beautiful, Baroque -style gold ornamentation, and layers of jacquards, embroidery and lace has really made me very excited this season. If I could have put more gold braid on this outfit I would, but propriety prevents me from doing so.

D&G A/W 2013, via International Business Times.

Dolce and Gabbana A/W 2013, via MYFDBlog

So here's my homage to Christobel's amazing elegance and foresight. 
Silk bolero and skirt, after Balenciaga. 

Embroidered silk organza bolero, detail.

My pretend Balenciaga bolero and skirt.