Saturday, March 30, 2024

Oscar Buzz 24 (Updated)

 


Normally, I am able to post my Oscar girls no more than 2 weeks after the event. But this year, I saw quite a number of dresses that inspired me. As a result, I became VERY AMBITIOUS! It was all I could do to get this up before the end of the month. And truth be known....there were still about 3-4 more gowns I wanted to make. But as you will notice, in most cases I took a LOT of liberties!  Sometimes, it had to do with "tweaking" the original look but in other cases, there was something about the original look that didn't sync with the proportion of the doll. Still....this year's Academy Awards red carpet provided a feast of ideas.

What could be more glamorous than this modern rendition of a famous 1950's  Balenciaga gown! As simple as it looks, this was not something I could whip out in a few hours. Au contraire! I used a stretch velvet because I felt it would give me a perfect fit--which it did. HOWEVER...(and this is a big however) the sweetheart neckline and the scallops at the hem contributed to the headache! The fabric is soft and the scallops went limp. I used hem tape to add a little body. It would have been easier to cut the neckline straight then pinch in between the busts. On a doll with small breasts there would not have been the same issue. But Nadja has full breasts. I used tulle to face the top of the dress. After attempting to tack on the tulle lower skirt to the dress, I gave up and finally decided this dress--originally conceived by the master couturier himself, Cristobal Balenciaga--would have been made with an underskirt! The underskirt is tulle held in place at the waist. 

This dress, designed by the house of Dolce Gabanna, is so elegant and looked so good on actress/dancer, Rita Moreno. I had to make the decision to follow this design line by line or to simplify. I think the original dress might be a wrap dress with its grand collar of ruffles that cascade down to the ankles. But I felt the that was too much volume on Veronique's tiny body. For me, that regal pile of ruffles framing her face so beautifully was the real story so I decided to start out with a simple black velvet sheath and add a taffeta collar with a few trailing ruffles down the front. 


The simplicity of this Dior Couture dress is what caught my eye. It's as if she's wearing a silk satin scarf twisted around her breasts and shoulders. Again, this dress is more complicated than it looks. I ended up making two dresses in different fabrics. The original dress was described as a "light silver satin." I used a silver satin  (for the dress above) but after photographing it, the sheen distracted the eye from the details of the dress bodice (as seen below).

So I cut another...this time using a soft pink silk satin. This version comes close to the original dress. However, the tiny proportions of the doll will never lend itself to exactly the way it falls around the bust of the actress. 


A strapless sheath of black sequins with a little sash at the hips by Versace worn by Margot Robbie is lovely for "ordinary folk dressed up," but for couture, I feel it is too simple, too boring. For me it lacks those special little details that distinguish it from expensive off-the-rack dresses. So for my girl, Charlize, I did a gown cut from iridescent mini sequins, dotted with regular sequins and paillettes at the hemline. If you look closely...instead of a sash, I did three rows of black sequins in a trompe l'oeil effect resembling a chain belt! She's holding a shawl made from embroidered tulle.


For the Balenciaga gown worn by actress, Michelle Yeoh, I used lame instead of the 2-toned silver sequins because I didn't have the right fabric on hand. It was fairly easy to make--an asymmetrical bodice with train over a sheath skirt. But when I finished, I was quite underwhelmed and almost didn't include this dress in this lineup. The top came out the way I envisioned, but the light grey lame did not. Just before abandoning this dress, I decided to rub in some silver glitter and photograph it outside in the sun. In person, I like it better. But for some odd reason, it didn't make a difference in the photograph.


 On the subject of silver.... I do love silver dresses and this one translated well for the doll. Naomi's version of DJ Kiss' Jovana Louis gown, is in three parts. A silver bustier, a skirt with train and a sash belted at the waist. 



The other challenge this year... curvy lady fashions reinterpreted for our skinny vinyl divas. I did not have the baby blue sequins the original Louis Vuitton gown called for. And that was okay because I am sure I would not have liked it as much as the dress I ultimately created for Shakira. Actress, Da' Vine Joy Randolf's proportions call for simplicity in design. So the sequins with the dramatic ripped sleeves is just the right look for her. That said.... my doll has smaller proportions and we can play more with the details of this look. Instead of a strapless sheath, I made the body of the dress using a twill acetate (usually used for lining) that I wet, crushed and let dry. You don't have to think about darts or construction because when you unravel it, it will cling where you want. If there are any gaps, simply tack in place. I added a train of un-crumbled fabric. But then, instead of the ripped fabric sleeves--which I started to make out of tulle--I used the rag jacket we make a while ago out of ripped denim. How much fun is that!

Producer Ava Duvernay's gown, in a word, was.....boring! But the straps and the color screamed "denim" to me. So... I decided to have some fun and created this denim gown for Pat. Her dress was made from a pocket I ripped off my father's old jeans. A created long fringe out of another piece and added that to the bottom of the dress. The straps are leather.


Here's another boring dress we decided to have a bit of fun with. Jennifer Lawrence wears a Dior couture gown--simple bodice with full skirt gathered into the waistline--tasteful but boring. Morgan's dress is in three pieces. I had more fun by draping at random, the polka dotted sheer fabric over a strapless bodice. I added a gathered skirt. BUT....I make an over-skirt of black tulle and scraps of dotted sheer that it tied to one side over the rest of the dress! If you are going to do polka dots....make them dance!


I found this dress very interesting!!!!  I love the swirl of black and white around the bottom of the dress. The under dress is a simple black velvet gown that I duplicated using stretch velvet. But it is the black and white satin draping around the hips and the train that is most intriguing. It is also one of those rare dresses that you really need to see in person to figure out exactly how it is made. I cannot tell you how many times and how many different ways I tried to drape this detail to no avail. Though it appears to be one big piece of fabric wound around the hips in a swirl, I believe there are several pieces incorporated to achieve the end result. In this case, I had to close my eyes to the original dress and focus on what I most love about the look. Then....drape in the spirit of the original. It's not the same, but it exudes the same emotion!

Arianna Grande appeared on both the best and worst dressed lists because of this dress from the house of Giambattista Valli. The actress is cute as a button and there was something terribly adorable about her in this Barbie pink gown. To my eyes, she emerged as princess dressed like a pink bumblebee struggling under all of that fabric! This is a perfect example of what happens when you design for a photo, for that moment on stage. Unfortunately when you don't think about how the woman will get between point A to point B....this is the result. But still, we couldn't pass up on her. I wanted to keep the spirit of "Hello Barbie" but lighten it up as if our heroine was emerging from a sky filled pink airy clouds. The strapless gown is nice, but inasmuch as she has such a teenager silhouette, I felt that dress should be something less heavy; something that doesn't point to the curves she doesn't have. I kept the drapes but there are fewer of them and the dress itself is cut from a sheer fabric. The over-piece of the original dress is cut from silk and again is so heavy...it looks like she gathered her bed sheets around her. So....I used sheer polyester organza (from a package of gift bags I found at the Dollar store), to create a series of poufs tacked together into a cloak of sorts. Everything is light and airy as an early summer evening. 

And for the final dress of this series, I chose Laverne Cox in a velvet gown from Mugler. From the bottom up...this is a black fishtail skirt topped with a bustier made from.....the foil from a champagne bottle, sculpted to Amalia's body. This is the second one I made. The first one corresponded to the proportions of the original dress. However, I didn't like the end results as much as when I added more length. The scarf over the shoulders....this is the one in two pieces that I did in the post just before this one! 

(April 18 Update... Here are the dresses we added on after this was published. They were also featured on our Facebook page as well.)

Melissa McCarthy


Danielle Brooks in Dolce & Gabbana


Leah Lewis in Lever Couture


Lisa Koshy in Marchesa.


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6 comments:

  1. Hello April,
    It's been a long time since I stopped to leave you a comment. Over time, we leave fewer comments, but it is important to encourage each other. Also, I always read your blogs.
    I'll start with a wow! I always find your models better than the original versions. Like Jennifer Lawrence's dress, your version is much better.
    It's true that there were a lot of models at the Oscars that I also liked. One of my favorites is your first black and white model from Balenciaga. I also imagined doing it.... but not enough time at the moment.
    But I always wondered how you managed to make so many clothes in a very short time. Currently I've been stuck on my 2024 wedding collection project for more than 3 weeks, and I'm not moving forward. yet I only make two bridesmaids, a bride and the groom.
    See you soon. (Shasarignis) 馃グ

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    1. Indeed, long time no see. Though I am not on Instagram on a regular basis under Fashion Doll Stylist, I also follow you under my other account, "Fashion Doll Art." And I have been leaving comments on your WONDERFUL fashions from that account.
      This post took me nearly a month to create. I was very ambitious with my choices and in a couple of cases, I made more than one dress. I do not line these gowns unless it is necessary for the general outcome of the result. That saves time. And I don't put the closures in until after I photograph the dresses because of the differences in bodies of doll in my collection. I work on a standard FR body, but I might choose a doll with a different body type. Also, in many cases, the dress starts out with a fairly simple base or one where I already have drafted a similar pattern. What holds me up is the fabric. I try to get as close to the color and texture, but when I don't have that in stock, I have to rethink everything.
      Finally...when you post a comment, I am notified for my approval. Otherwise, I get so much spam! This keeps the comments closed to actual doll enthusiasts. So just wait a little bit and your comment will eventually show up.
      Good luck on you bridal project. I look forward to seeing the end result which I am sure will be fabulous!!!!! Big hugs. April

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  2. Oh, I have been waiting for this. First there were some gorgeous dresses and I always feel your interpretations are so much MORE than than the originals. Hubby who has no understanding of fashion at all, made the comment that some of the Oscar dresses were too much. I can agree, your interpretation of Ariana Grande's dress was spot on. Hers was way TOO MUCH dress for such a tiny person, she looked divine standing still, but swallowed when trying to move. I was far more impressed with Emilia Clarke's choice for her small body. My favorites here of yours are the Kristy Scott dress and DJ Kiss dress, yours and the originals. DJ knew she looked fabulous and her smile told the whole story...LOVED EVERYTHING, Sandi

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    1. Oh Sandi, thank you so much for your wonderful comment. I thought about you and others who always look forward to my Dolly Oscar red carpet while putting this together. If nothing else, I can at least deliver our red carpet specials!!! And so this time around, I saw lots of possibilities. I would have done about three or four more but it would have taken me so long to get it up. (I might add one or two more to this on our Facebook page...but don't tell anybody! LOL!!!) The Kristy Scott dress I worked so long on that dress and I'm still thinking about it!!! DJ Kiss was also nice and there were other curvy ladies (Danielle Brooks and Melissa McCarthy) I wanted to do but ran out of time. In any case, again, thank you for your lovely comment. This is always so much fun.

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  3. Well! This was certainly worth the wait (I’ve missed you). Loved them all, but for me 5 gowns stood out. The beautiful black and white Balenciaga looked simple to my uneducated eyes but so much work went into it. I thought your simple elegant version of Charlize Theron’s Dior was far better. As was Michelle Yeoh’s, so please don’t be disappointed with it. Your black and white swirl gown was stunning, I wouldn’t have known where to start. Which brings me to Arianna Grande. Oh dear! She looked like she was carrying several very full shopping bags. A little less pouf and I would have loved it. Your version was full on over the top but didn’t drown your model, lovely. Look forward to seeing the ones you didn’t have time to finish.

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  4. Love, love, loved the last orange dress and the one with the purple organza drape.

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