Monday, May 3, 2021

OSCAR BUZZ 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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16 comments:

  1. My favorite is your version of Angela Day's Vera Wang gown. Yours is beautiful esp. paired with those kicka$$ boots! I think the shiny gold totally washes her out and she is lost. The silver is much better!

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    1. Another problem with shiny gold used in garments is that it tends to look rather cheap. In my opinion, silver is a much better option that can be worn by nearly everyone. I will admit, I started out with a light metallic gold ribbon, but I didn't have enough to complete the dress AND, the original model was even skinnier. After switching to silver, I was able to work out the kinks AND the silver gown gave me a reason to use those totally awesome boots!

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  2. Waw April, our patience was worth it. I have a first question. How long did it take you to create all the outfits? They are wonderful. I had 2 favorites: Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang. Well done. The Oscar, we would never have thought it was three pieces. I really like the faux fur skirt. La Vera is a good choice to make it in silver, I find that it gives an original futuristic aspect. And the cut you put it well. I also like your choice of boot that goes up to the thigh. Very good choice. I prefer your model.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Shasarignis. I used very simple patterns to create each of the nine looks. Like that, I was able to complete a look per day. Though many critics didn't like the Oscar de la Renta dress, as soon as I saw it I thought of that piece of long-haired faux fur I had in my drawer. The skirt is very simple...it is a square with a waistline keyhole cut at the center. The top, which is a bustier (stretch velvet) plus removable sleeves, allows versatility. The top can be worn by itself and the detachable sleeves can be used as opera length gloves! The Vera Wang dress in silver is, in my opinion, a classier choice over gold and more modern. Instead of competing with the gold Oscar statue, she looks as if she stepped out of a futuristic Star Ship Galactic.

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  3. Hi April! Several of the original creations look better after being tweaked by you and on your dolls. Laura Dern's dress would have been more beautiful if it had a neckline like your creation's. With the high closed neckline the contrast is too much, for me personally. Your neckline is elegant. The bandeau top of the gold Valentino outfit looks a bit out of place to me too, your gown is lovely, however! My favourite is the Louis Vuitton dress, very elegant, both the real one as your version!

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    1. Thank you Linda. I feel that the quality of the Oscar red carpet dresses has gone down these last five years or so. I really don't understand how or why those "stylists" that dress the celebs are paid so much. Part of the problem is, of course, comes from the fact that couture or made to order gowns are not as beautifully designed as they once were. For most of today's stars, their lifestyles are so different, much more casual than those celebs from the golden era of Hollywood. So, I take the liberty of "tweaking." I agree with your assessment of the Oscar de la Renta dress. It was pretty but something was not quite right. There are times when I like high necklines in eveningwear, but those looks usually feature something with more frills or something bare somewhere else. By changing up the neckline, it is surprising how much more elegant the dress became. And yes, the Louis Vuitton dress was a lovely escape to the land of princesses.

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  4. I love your gold and silver creations <3 They are amazing :-)

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    1. Thank you Aya, for your very kind words. I'm pretty pleased with the way all the metallic dresses turned out. Happy you enjoyed this post.

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  5. All your versions of the creative are phenomenal. I like them more than the originals. My favorite is the white dress with embroidered corset by Alexander Mc Queen.

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    1. Thank you so much Dlubaniny. Your lovely comment was most apreciated. That Alexander McQueen dress is quite stunning. I would still like to get my dress a little closer to the original. At some point, I will take the time to do another one like it in a different way.

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  6. I am a human disaster and I have not been keeping up with my reading list. From all your versions, I think that my favourites are the red gown and the pant suit. I feel like the sleeves on the real red gown are kind of weird, so I prefer your "roses" version. From the real garments, I would say my favourite one is the first one. I do agree, that adapting that intricate design to doll scale would be very difficult. Maybe some plastic corset could become something similar, but that would be incredibly difficult to make.

    Hope you're having a lovely new week.

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    1. Not to worry MC. I have been having a lot of issues trying to get my posts up and keeping up with reading. Thank you for your lovely comments. I totally agree with what you said about the original red gown. There was a certain drama about it I liked, but the sleeves resembled wings. I thought roses would be better than wings. The trick to adapting original designs is to 1) capture the spirit of the design and 2) think in the simplest terms. The human brain will fill in the details it thinks it sees!

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  7. Piękno, styl i klasa! Moda to nieskończenie rozwijające się zjawisko. Mimo, że część ubrań już była, to nowe kroje, cięcia, nowe materiały czynią z nich coś nowego! Intrygujące jest też to, jak bardzo strój, kolor, materiał i fason powinien pasować modelce, która go nosi! Musi pasować nie tylko do karnacji, urody, koloru włosów, ale też do makijażu i ... osobowości modelki!
    Twoje lalki prezentują stroje idealnie i fantastycznie umiesz dopasować kreację do modelki :-)
    Pozdrawiam serdecznie i życzę dużo zdrowia ♥

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    1. Olla wrote: Beauty, style and class! Fashion is an endlessly developing phenomenon. Although some of the clothes were already there, new cuts, cuts, new materials make them something new! It is also intriguing how much the outfit, color, material and cut should suit the model wearing it! It has to match not only the skin tone, beauty, hair color, but also makeup and ... the model's personality!
      Your dolls present their outfits perfectly and you can perfectly match the outfit to the model :-)
      Best regards and good health ♥

      Thank you for your lovely comments, Olla. As you know very well, it is very important to choose just the right model for each garment. Not all dolls look good in all outfits and those of us who have sizable collections have the luxury of choosing that perfect model. And because our ladies are "perfect," they often show off the clothes better than the celebrities! The red carpet posts are some of my favorite projects. Big hugs. April

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  8. These fashion designs are gorgeous, April. I love the simplicity of a draped fabric that also looks chic. You captured the essence of Halston's style with these.

    dbg

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    1. Thank you Debbie for your very kind words. The ideas have not been coming easily for me due to not seeing much throughout this pandemic. But at least there was a limited red carpet event AND, the Netflix docu-drama brought back memories of a really elegant era in New York fashion. I had such a good time with the Halston post. I am blessed to have lived through one of the best eras of fashion.

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