Sunday, March 5, 2017

Oscar Buzz '17

Well...it's that time of year again when all eyes turn towards the Academy Awards' red carpet. And this time around didn't disappoint. Like I said for the Paris Couture report....as those trends go, so do the dresses on the red carpet! In fact, the Chanel gown we featured in our last report resurfaced on actress, Sofia Boutella!

But if this version looks a little different than the one in my dolly Couture report looks slightly different it's because in the first gown was cut from a dark silver lame to which I added a light silver glitter, trimmed in a white, long-haired faux fur. I was pretty happy with the result, but felt the styling could be improved. So I replaced the fluffy tail and replaced it with rows of shimmering silver fringe.

Paris Haute Couture Spring '17: Chanel. (left to right) Original dress, 1st doll version, final do-over
Then I tossed a silver leather jacket over Waris' shoulders and wrapped her with lots silvery jewelry. I was not going to undo this revised edition, so I made a second version, this time using silver metallic leather and the fluffy trim that I had removed from the first dress!

I had quite a selection of looks to chose from this year. The limiting factors were time constraints and fabric. I would love to have done that exquisite gold and white beaded Givenchy gown worn by Emma Stone. But since the look is all about the beads, I had to pass. One gown I immediately said was impossible...the Elie Saab worn by actress Janelle Monae..I ended up making. I love Ms. Monae's choices of red carpet dresses. She's a real risk taker who loves to experiment with her look! As usual, translating something this complicated all boils down to closely studying the design and breaking it down to its most essential basics.
What convinced me to make this gown was the printed fabric---taken from an old blouse I cut up. What is important in translating this kind of "complicated" look is to give an overall summary and not get bogged down with the intricate details of the original which is covered with beaded embroideries of birds and tiny feathers!  For Tamron's version, the top is a basic bodice to which I have sewn on bird silhouettes I rough cut from scraps of silver lame. I added beads around the armholes and neckline.

The skirt is printed fabric where I have enhanced the horizontal strips with rows of beads in the front. And for the bustles-- my sparkle tulle came to the rescue! Gathered and added to either side and back of the skirt and lined with a layer of polyester taffeta (which explains how it holds its shape)!. Here, I've sewn it directly to the waistband, but as soon as I undress Tamron, I'll remove it and stitch it to a ribbon so that it can be removed. Like that the dress is more versatile! I added some more cut out birds to the bustles. (You can tack them with a few stitches which is what I did on the bodice or simply glue them in place on the tulle, which is what I did with the bustle!)

Karlie Kloss in Stella McCartney's white gown also caught my eye for the pureness of its sheer simplicity.
For the dress, I used a 2-way stretch rayon jersey and made a pattern right on her body. There are only two side seams. The left shoulder is left open so that the doll can get in and out of the dress. For the cape, it is the standard pattern as outlined in our tutorial (click HERE) except that on the back, only one side of the back includes the rounded shoulder while on the opposite side, the pattern takes on the natural shoulder line of the bodice. On the doll's left side, I dropped a straight line from the neck-shoulder point to the hem. (This is attached to the shoulder seam on the back of the dress. The front dress shoulder seam folds over this and is closed shut with hook and eyes. In the front of the cape, the curve of one shoulder is there but I dropped a straight line from the side of the neck to the hem for an abbreviated cape effect. It is fully lined in a polyester that perfectly matches the jersey.
On one side there is a "cape" while on the other an elegant train.
It trails in the back like a train from the exposed shoulder. The front of the dress closes over at the shoulder line and is held in place with the help of 2 hook and eyes.

This is a dress I probably wouldn't have given a second glance. This is Louise Roe in Pronovias...a brand I don't know. This was simply a "I-Can-Do-It-Better" challenge. The dress has so much potential but is undermined by its length and lack of accessories. Given the Oscars is a formal affair, I question the choice of the hemline. Simply by extending the hem to the grown, the dress is more stunning. Moreover, the actress could take a few tips from our model Samantha whose hair has more volume. And nothing glams up a look than a big fluffy feather boa!!!

The Dior dress worn by actress Kirsten Dunst was irresistible. It's quite simple but spectacular. It's the kind of look my dolls will be fighting to wear for the end-of-year holidays! The original dress calls for some degree of gathers in the front and back. But in my first glance, I saw a beautiful off the shoulder princess line dress. In reality, Yvette's Dolly Dior would be more easily worn by most (human) women because it more gently falls over the body without injecting the kind of bulk bring to a garment. So for our version, I used the classic princess line pattern, but redesigned the neckline to be strapless. Worth noting...there is a waist length strapless foundation underneath. Essentially, it is sheer, strapless bodice which helps hold the dress to the body of the doll. Also, the hem is slightly asymmetrical, hiked up just enough to reveal the foot.


We could not do this report without including the Armani Prive dress worn by Oscar winner (for Best Supporting Actress), Viola Davis. This started out with a basic sheath dress where the dress is suspended from a strap around the neck. Of course, I flared out the sides, then added a train. A long piece of fabric was gathered at both ends. One end is tacked in place behind the neck strap. It drapes down over the shoulders, around the back and the opposite end comes back up and is stitched behind the neck strap. I cheated a little by securing the folds with a few hidden stitches there at the neck as well as where this drapes around the arms! I used an inexpensive fabric, but as soon as I can get my hands on a lovely piece of silk jersey, I will be making this dress again!


Well....while we've been dancing during Carnival and taking in all the festivities in Hollywood, the fashion capitals of the world have been busy hosting the Fall Winter Ready-to-Wear fashion collections. Our girls have been on the ground collecting information on all the hottest looks they plan to wear in six months. We'll begin our coverage shortly!


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28 comments:

  1. Gorgeous dresses - love the Dior and Chanel in particular.

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    1. Thank you, Stevi. I was really inspired this time around. The surprise for me is the white Stella McCartney dress! I did not imagine it would have come out so perfect to the original!

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    1. Thank you Urzula. Glad to know you enjoyed this post. This was fun!

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  3. Your spot on rendition of the dress worn by Janelle Monae stopped me in my tracks. Amazing! The Stella McCarthy dress was also spot on. It's so hard to get used to Janelle Monae being referred to as an actress. To be in two Oscar nominated films her first year as an actress is pretty incredible. I hope she continues to do both, sing and act.

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    1. Thank you, Vanessa. Janelle has such a unique and intriguing sense of style. Her choices of red dresses really matches her personality! Sometimes, when I first look at her I think, "I don't think so." Then the more I look at her the more she wins me over. When I saw her in this Elie Saab dress, I thought, "too complicated. Won't be doing that one." But I was too intrigued not to try! In actuality, the dress is very intricate. So I was happy to find a simple solution. The Stella McCartney dress surprised me. Super simple to do and came out so picture perfect faithful to the original. This is such an interesting project!!!

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  4. I really enjoy all of these posts, u always do a wonderful job! 👍 - DollsnFashion

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    1. Thank you DnF. This year was as inspiring as it was challenging. I really enjoyed putting this together. If I had more time, I would have tried to tackle one of the men's tuxedos.

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  5. I think your renditions are better than the originals! Excellent work.

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    1. Oh, thank you Chris for your very kind words. So happy you enjoyed this post.

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  6. Wow this is outstanding,amazing interpretation of all outfits,your first doll are looking better than sofia boutella.
    xx

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    1. Thank you M-C for your kind words. I always feel I have the distinct advantage when doing this project. I work with some of the best models in the world! And I get to enhance the original designs! :D

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  7. You have such an outstanding eye at replicating these designs.

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    1. Thank you Muff. The trick is not to get bogged down in trying to do a line for line copy of the original. AND...it's important to keep referring back to the photo to check for scale and proportion. Some things are easier to do than others!

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  8. Wszystkie Twoje kreacje są fenomenalne, ale biała prosta suknia rzuciła mnie na kolana! Modelka wygląda w niej bosko!
    Pozdrowienia!

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    1. Olla wrote:



      All of your creations are phenomenal, but the simple white gown blew me away! The model looks gorgeous in it!
      Greetings!
      Thank you Olla. Each time I try to push my skills by choosing looks that are challenging. There are always surprises. The white dress was a big surprise in that it came out much better than I imagined it would. I was going to put this on another doll, but this one begged me to let her wear it. I am happy I listened to her because she is stunning. Big hugs, April

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  9. Just beautiful! I loved the way you improve on what you see! That's great. This is such a fun post (as well as informative details!) to see your gorgeous girls in the fashions we enjoyed that night!

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    1. Thank you, Jano. This year, I saw many very inspiring gowns. However, I am always amazed at how the stylists fall short in the way they accessorize the actresses. This project provides me an opportunity, not only to make a miniature version of the original, but in some cases, make improvements and provide the kind of glamorous accessories I think they should have. Glad you enjoyed this post!

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  10. Hi April,my blog have new link
    http://studio-cyg.blogspot.com/
    the old one dont work right now
    thank you
    xx

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    1. Thank you M-C for pointing this out. I will change the link immediately.

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  11. I have a question, I've been considering getting a Fashion Royalty doll,but the sewing patterns and shoes for them seem very limited, esp shoes. Do u make ur own shoes for them? And will the Barbie Basics shies fit them? Thanks. -DnF

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    1. Hi DnF. Beware that Fashion Royalty dolls are HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!!! That said....sewing for them is no more difficult or limited than it is for Barbie. (Note: many of the dolls you see here are FR!) Whether FR can share with MM depends on the age of the FR. Keep in mind that Model Muse dolls are quite skinny with narrow hips. Many of the older FR dolls can fit into Barbie's clothes, however, I have since updated most of my older FR dolls' bodies. They now have the latest bodies! The best thing is to do is to create new slopers for them. (Check Slopers under Tutorials on the right side of this blog.) As for shoes... please check out my recent post (Fancy Footwork: Couture Boots) on the type of shoe that works for both types of doll. Victoire Roux dolls can wear Barbie (Model Muse or Silkstone) shoes, but non of the others can wear them. Still, you can find shoes for the FR on eBay. You can always buy one or two pair then make several pairs of spats or stocking shoes (look under accessories for the links) while you wait to build up your doll's shoe wardrobe.

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    2. Thank u so much, that really helps! And yes, lol I can see them being addictive. I ended up with 6 Tonner dolls when I said only one. Same with Barbie, esp Basics. It just happens lol. Thank u again, I greatly appreciate it! 👍- DnF

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    3. You're in good company. I started out with a few of the Barbie Basics. After I bought all the black dolls, I added the others. When I ran out of those to buy, I bought the Barbie S.I.S---lots of them! I had 1 Tonner. Then I felt she needed a friend. Then that friend needed a friend. I have 7. Then I discovered the FR. I was originally content to buy old ones. Then I discover the new ones. The only thing now that has slowed me down is the escalating pricetag (thank goodness). But yes, I admit---I am a dollaholic!!!! By the way, please note that within the Integrity Toy family, there are different body sizes and shapes! Many can share each others clothes. The Color Infusion dolls have bigger feet that cannot wear the others shoes!!!! Naughty doll makers.

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  12. Well recreated Oscars outfits. I'm impressed by the diversity, amazing work, congrats :)

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    1. Thank you Neytiri. With each project I try to challenge myself by taking on a variety of interesting looks. What I've learned is that "complicated" is sometimes not hard at all, whereas simple can be very difficult! I give myself not more than a week to do this, so I have the added challenge of doing what I can within a short period of time. Happy to know you enjoyed this. It makes the effort quite satisfying.

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  13. My favorites are the silver Chanel gown - with the white fur trim or the silver fringe. Just a gorgeous, slick fashion to me. Wow, wow.

    Also love the white Stella McCartney gown. Really classy look.

    Oh and the gold gown ... such lovely draping.

    And the black Dior which I thought you improved by having a textured fabric and the silver accessories.

    Someday, I'd like to dress up like your dolls - just for the fun of feeling fine fabrics against my skin. I'd be out of place at the places where people dress up, but it would be fun to do glamour without the venue. Ha ha. I'll think on that.

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    1. Thank you D7ana. I think part of the fun I feel doing this project is "being" on the red carpet via my dolls. By recreating some of these gowns, it's the next best thing to actually wearing them and showing out. I did go to formal affairs when I was much younger (but never to the Oscars), so I have the sensation of dressing up this much. So to compensate for that which I no longer have access, I live my fashion fantasies through my dolls. I admit. I'm a little jealous. They'll never get old. They'll always look good. LOL!!!

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