I’ll be working here in peace for the next two days, creating new, refashioning old, and enjoying the monsoony thunder. This old house really brings out my creativity. <3
Usually, when I have a dress that just doesn’t work out for me, I either put it in the the studio rental collection or sell it. But this dress deserves a second chance: it’s made of three different dyed-to-match pieces of silk. All the flowers and lace are hand embroidered and the suite of lace are all antique originals and I can’t bear to let them go. I didn’t like how I photographed in the dress and I feel that I would better in shorter (evening) sleeves. Because of its intense color (which was the height of fashion in the 1870s with the development of aniline dyes) the dress never photographed well and looked flat even though it’s a three-dimensional object. With digital photography, the color is so intense that it vibrates/moires (i.e. shimmers). In order to give the dress more dimension on film, some other colors need to be introduced into the embroidery along with a few more textures. By doing so, this should reduce the vibrating effect.
Below are pictures of the dress both in color and black and white:
Notice in the above picture that the details are blurred- this NOT because of the camera being out of focus or some other malfunction.
In the above two black and white pictures, note how the details of the dress now stand out. It is my goal to make the dress stand up to film and not vibrate by color balance.
Here are some more “before pictures” taken in our Tombstone studio. The color in these pictures is not true, they are actually much more bright:
It is my plan to replace the current sleeves with shorter (evening) sleeves so that the emphasis will be more at the shoulder as opposed to the arm. As a note, during the late 19th Century, people would often order two sets of sleeves, the first being a more full set of dinner/reception sleeves and the second being a shorter set for balls. Dresses were expensive and having two sets of sleeves was a practical money-saving measure.
I will update you as I progress with this project.