Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mini Oscars 2015 (Makeovers!!!)

Aside from the fact that the Academy Awards falls right in the middle of Fashion Month, the delay in publishing this post was due to choosing which dresses to imitate. There were a few dresses I did like but either 1) did not have access to similar fabrics or the construction was too complicated to mimic. But largely the problem was bored with the red carpet. Was it that the actresses were playing it safe to avoid ending up on the multitude of so-called fashion critics' "what's-not-hot" lists? Is it that the stylists who dress them lack imagination? It can't be about the cost of the dress because most of what we see is on loan from the fashion houses.

And while I fully accept that today's tastes are much simpler than those fashion mavens of the last century, simplicity doesn't have to be so utterly....BORING!!!!! We can keep things simple, but go wild on the accessories. After all, the Academy Awards is a once a year event where Hollywood Royalty should dust off those tiaras and shine! While I remained as faithful as possible (under the usual constraints of time and materials), I allowed the girls the liberty of changing up the accessories.

The strongest trend, as far as I could see, is something American journalists call "the column dress." Essentially, this is a new word for the sheath dress.
The actress is Rosamund Pike and her red lace strapless gown is from Givenchy. I used a vintage petticoat to recreate the mini version for Marpessa. Actually, this was one of the more interesting dresses we saw. All that was missing from Ms. Pike's look was jewelry! A rhinestone necklace. A gold filigree bracelet. Maybe even red lace opera gloves!

This black trimmed baby blue gown is by Tom Ford and worn by Reese Weatherspoon. For me, it is a look that screams out for interesting accessories. I'm not talking about another trip to Harry Winston's or Cartier.....personally I would look at sleek contemporary jewelry. Karen is wearing the rubber jewelry we did last year and the wire jewelry we did in January.

Cate Blanchette is wearing a black velvet gown from Maison Margiela (designed by John Galliano). I love velvet. I love turquoise and I love the designer and the fashion house. But somehow everything, even the mini version, resulting in a ho-hum look that needed something. Anything. In an effort not to compromise the look of the original dress, Latoya decided to grab a sheer turquoise "crystal pleated" shawl to toss over her shoulders.

Fifty Shades of Grey star, Dakota Johnson is wearing a red silk gown from Saint Laurent. Personally I don't feel this dress does a lot for her. It's the kind of dress that either needs more fabric incorporated over the bust (like the one my girl, Carla is wearing) or a body with more curves underneath. Again, the look screams for accessories. The dress has a single jeweled strap, but Carla felt it needed something more. So we added a rope of rhinestones around her ponytail and gave her a red silk clutch bag instead of Dakota's black patent bag.

And then there was the sublime Lupita Nyong'o in a special made-to-order Calvin Klein original. The original dress (costing a reported $150,000) is covered with 6000 pearls. When I saw the close up of her neck on the red carpet, I thought she was wearing lots of ropes of pearls. Once the camera pulled away, I didn't immediately see the pearls, but noticed the texture. My mini-version is made from a tiny scrap of sequined fabric. It consists of the halter neck top joined together over a narrow skirt. I added a few tiny adhesive backed pearls in the center of some of the sequins in a line from the bust to the knee. The result gives the illusion of the majesty of the original dress but without the work. The Calvin Klein dress is a jewel all by itself. But I thought it would be more fun (and more modern) to put ropes of pearls around Katoucha's neck and wrist.

Up next...New York Fashion Week-Fall 2015-Part II.

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  1. Hi April, you did a wonderful job, I adore the Ginvechy and CK dresses, and I agree with your girls: these dresses screamed for accessories!
    Kisses Billa

  2. Thank you, Billa. The CK dress was such a challenge to find a substitute that would give the illusion and respect the opulence of the original dress without having to do all of the beading. (Although I might go back and add pearls to it later, once I can get to a crafts store to get some beads.) Big hugs. April.

  3. Hello from Spain: your creations and designs for the Oscar party are perfect. I like your replicas lot. Your dolls are very stylish. Nice pics.Keep in touch

  4. Thank you Marta. It is always such an interesting project. See you soon!


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