Monday, May 3, 2021



How refreshing it was to see a real, in-person red carpet event where the stars had to actually dress up and pose for pictures. That was the good part. On the other hand, due to Covid restrictions, there were fewer people on the red carpet which meant a smaller number of fashions to choose from. Nonetheless, a few trends emerged....metallics (gold in particular), bare midriff gowns, and the color white... To be frank, I wasn't all that enthralled with what I saw, but at least it gave me something to work with. 

The one stand out gown that I truly loved was by Alexander McQueen, worn by award winning actress, Viola Davis. The original gown has an art nouveau embroidered pattern over a micro gathered chiffon skirt. I will admit, I tried several ways to duplicate that bodice without success. The main problem is scale. The intricacy of the floral pattern with leaves swirling throughout simply didn't translate into a simplified 1/6 application. I nearly gave up on this dress until I came across a triangular cotton embroidered lace insert I removed from an old bustier. I started to cut away the pattern near the bottom, but then I decided I really liked my bustier fell into a point over the gathered skirt. The result is not as close to the original as I had hoped, but I was still able to the verve of the Alexander McQueen gown.

I remember seeing a version of this Valentino dress and thinking the bare midriff top didn't seem in balance with the skirt. That it is a shiny gold is another challenge. However, I do admit that Carey Mulligan wore this dress very well. Unfortunately I did not have gold lame on hand, so I had to get a little creative. I chose a golden polyester organza instead. I also simplified the skirt a bit, largely to save time and fabric. Instead of doing a skirt with deep pleats, I used the method from my "Fit For a Queen" tutorial. It is a slim skirt with a high waistline and bustles added to both sides. To make up for the "bareness" of the Valentino, I added a statement necklace to complete Zoe's look.

Angela Bassett in Alberta Ferretti's gown was simply stunning. I loved everything about this dress, but for my girl Sonya, I wanted to soften the sleeves a bit. Instead of "wings" I thought "roses." I started out with a simple V-neck strapless sheath to which I added the side gathered "poufs." I pinched them and tacked the fabric in place to arrive at the desired shape. When the two sleeves are finished, I tweaked each one so that they closely resembled each other before definitively stitching them in place. To the back I've added tulle on either side of the center back seam. Then a square of red silk allowed to fall into points is tacked at the top of the back near the center back. I did not allow for a front slit because I did not think this style needed it. 

Laura Dern's dress was actually on many people's "worse dress list." Me, I saw the "Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers" aspect to this Oscar de la Renta gown. Vanessa's gown is actually in three pieces: a velvet bustier with removal sleeves worn over an asymmetrical skirt created from a square piece of faux fur. 

Well.... this Vera Wang original worn by actress Angela Day, made both the "Best Dressed" and the "Worse Dressed" lists. Personally, I found it surprising to see this dress at a time when we have not completely emerged from the pandemic. While I empathize with the desire to resemble an old fashion "movie star," shiny gold is VERY difficult to pull off. (Personally, I would have preferred to see Ms. Day in white shimmery satin a la Billie Holliday.) To add to the challenge, the material here is chain-mail,  which is metal. The drape of this bare midriff dress is, for me, extremely ambitious and I with the Vera Wang atelier had handled it more simply. So for Radiah, I made a complete overhaul. I kept the concept of the bare midriff dress with an asymmetrical top, but I kept it simple and I chose silver which is much easier (and more modern). I did like the slant of the skirt, but on the original look, the slant seems to go against the movement of the hips and the placement of the deep slit. Since I didn't have access to chain-mail, I used a flat, silver lame often used for theater curtains. It stretches and does not fray. I chose not to turn down the edges. Instead I cut the material with a sharp pair of scissors so that the dress would lay perfectly flat against the body like liquid metal. 

I had to zoom in close to see the details of the fabric here. This is Margot Robbie in Chanel. At first glance it looks like a little floral slip dress. But in reality it is silver lace. I had a small scrap of silver lace, though the pattern is not as tiny as with the original dress. While I was figuring out whether or not to do this dress, I discovered that the over-sized scale of my lace gave the dress a more luxurious edge, especially when lined with pewter toned satin. Since the Chanel dress is so simple, I decided Estelle's version could use a simple, unlined over coat from the same silver lace.

A white pant suit is always a glamorous way to show up for a fancy event. The original pantsuit worn by Tiara Thomas was designed by Jovana Benoit. Here again, I made several tweaks. The proportion of the jacket to the pants seemed to be a bit overwhelming. For Iman, I chose a shorter, more form fitted jacket and straight legged wide trousers (as opposed to bells). I did like the feathered cuffs on the jacket, but felt it didn't need them at the hem. As far as her top.... I did not care for the flat placard. I decided it have more dimension so I created one with pleats and more of a drape. 

When the jacket is on, you see how it fits perfectly over the body, is in perfect proportion to the trousers and how the V-neck is deep enough to allow the top to fit in unison with the rest of the look.

We also liked simplicity, especially at this particular point with the pandemic. Our girl Roshumba mimics the elegant white gown worn by Lauren Domingo. It's cream white jersey that is simple in the front with a plunging cowl neck detail in the back.

And finally.... this princess gown. It wasn't anything we haven't seen before, but it was very pretty....the Louis Vuitton tulle gown worn by actress Maria Bakalova. And yesfor our girl Margot , we went a little crazy with the tulle!

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