Introducing The Camille

Since its introduction, our Camille dress design has been a major hit with our clients and has become one of the mainstays of our day dress line-up. The Camille is based on the Mid-Bustle Era styles that the Impressionist models would wear, primarily characterized by a fitted, narrow tied-back skirt that is swagged, pleated, and ruffled with fullness from the knees down. This style was also made popular by the famous actresses of the time such as Lilly Langtry and Sarah Bernhardt. What also makes this skirt more distinct is the custom bayleuse which is installed in each of our dresses which serve to create the distinct silhouette that characterized the late 1870s/early 1880s.

Camille Dress Elena

The Camille is a solid design that is suitable for a variety of occasions, both indoor and outdoor, and is available in a nearly endless combination of colors and fabrics. Below is one example that we recently made for a client:

Camille Dress Elena
With this dress, we’ve employed a blue color palette with a solid light blue foundation for the basic skirt and bodice sleeves and  combined it with dark blue cuffs and lapels on bodice. Then, just to make things interesting, we also employed a blue plaid fabric for the bodice body and swaged overskirt with pops of yellow. Finally, to complete the effect, we used a shirred white net to cover the upper underskirt.

Here is a three-quarter view of the rear of the dress. The underskirt is covered with shirred white net from the top to mid way down, and then with three rows of pleating from mid way down to the hem.

Camille Dress Elena
Below is a closer look at the hem- three rows of pleating…
Camille Dress Elena
Here are some more views of the dress details:

Camille Dress ElenaCamille Dress Elena

Now let’s take a look at some bodice details:

Camille Dress Elena

The bodice incorporates features reminiscent of 18th Century styles to include an inset of shirred white net framed by dark blue lapels or revers, creating a faux waistcoat appearance. The sleeves are three-quarter length ending in cuffs that match the lapels trimmed with three buttons. To finish it off, each sleeve has inset lace with silk ribbon trim.

Below is a close-up of the sleeve and cuff (before the lace was added). This is a good illustration of the color palette:

Camille Dress Elena

Overall, the effect is an interesting mix of plaid and solid-colored fabrics with a palette that harmonizes. The shirred front overskirt, knife pleats, and folds create an uneven texture that contrasts with the smoothness of the bodice and sleeves. The design was definitely a hit with our client and we look forward to creating more dresses in this style.

Helldorado Days 2017

It’s October and that means Helldorado Days in Tombstone! This year, Helldorado is scheduled on October 20 through October 22, 2017 and the high point of the event is the parade to he held on Sunday October 22. First started in 1928 to publicize the town, Helldorado is held on the third Sunday of October and commemorates the town’s early years and especially that 30-second gunfight that took place somewhere close by to the OK Corral. We’ll be meeting with clients and otherwise working on some projects and having a little fun. 🙂

See you there!

Lily Absinthe- It’s All In The Details…

When it comes to the fashions of the late 19th Century, it’s fairly obvious that there’s a lot of detail involved in these creations. In recreating the fashions of this era, the job of getting the details right can be a daunting one but the rewards in the end are priceless. Below are just a few examples from the atelier:

Lily Absinthe

Pleats can be worked with in a variety of ways plus they can stand alone or work as part of a decorative arrangement.

Lily Absinthe

A demi-train (or short train). Ruffles and pleats are some of the key ingredients that make dresses of the era stand out. However, fabric flowers are also used as can be seen below:

Lily Absinthe

Flowers were formed from fabric in various combinations and were often painted and/or gilded for an additional three-dimension effect. It’s couture details like these that puts our designs ahead of the rest. 🙂

Coming Back To LA…

It’s been a long day flying back to LA from Virginia (actually Washington/Dulles)- The flight for Denver was scheduled for 5 am which meant that I had to be at the airport sometime between 3 and 4 am (which in turn meant that I had to actually wake up around 2 am). Dulles Airport is huge, now imagine it with almost zero people. Weird. After enduring the usual TSA protocols and waiting, I was finally aboard and headed west to Denver. Since the plane was mercifully empty, I was actually able to get comfortable and catch up on some sleep during the 3 1/2 hour flight.

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Denver was COLD and rainy- fortunately, I didn’t have to go outside but I could feel the cold plenty as I exited the plane. It’s been awhile, to say the least- I’ve been dealing with temperatures in the 90s and 100s for so long that I forgot what anything else is like. 🙂

Heading southwest out of the Denver towards Burbank, the weather improved a bit and the sun came out…

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And then for a short hop over the Rockies…

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And finally landing at Hollywood-Burbank (aka Bob Hope) Airport where I’d started from some four days before…

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And what was the fashion of the day, you might ask? Jeans, T-shirt, and overshirt. Yeah, nothing fancy and meant solely for practicality. Unfortunately, the nature of modern day air travel doesn’t really allow for anything else…certainly not this…

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And as for meals, it’s not this…

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But this… 🙂

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But we make things work as elegantly as possible and that’s our motto here at Lily Absinthe! 🙂