From A Garden Party To The Old West…

Not all gorgeous gowns are for the ballroom! Here’s one of the latest Lily Absinthe gowns I finished, all Summer 1883-ish, inspired by the summer picnics painted by Monet, Renoir, and Tissot. She’s several layers of dyed-down cotton batiste, with silk band trimming, bows, and sashes. All the ruffles and ruches are double hemmed for movement, two have double ruched headers, and the rest of the dress of course, hand finished. Owner, Odessa Red, image from Vanessa Photography.

11774308_10152846856132693_474739537_n

So what was our inspiration? Well, it started here:

Claude_Monet_024

Claude Monet, “Women in the Garden”, 1867.

James_Tissot_-_July

James Tissot, “Spring”, 1878

d0b6505d8b645bbfb1d5d5fa8d7ff7b2

James Tissot, “Spring 1878”.

in-the-garden-1870

Edouard Manet, “In The Garden”, 1870

But I didn’t just stop with a few paintings, I also looked at a few specific garments:

11774842_10152846857712693_1711631471_n 11780514_10152846857532693_1900522329_n 11805701_10152846857562693_540062260_n

And Voila, the dress itself!

11755742_10152846956222693_2244000071765084950_n

11717284_10152846863867693_1345160394_n

In our atelier…

11802004_10152846857962693_1397322894_n

Odessa Red in at “Shootout on Whisky Row” in Prescott, Arizona.

Now one may think that a summer dress is simple and far less complicated than a ball gown or evening dress but nothing could be further from the truth. First, all the skirts still have proper hem facings, and the bodice is boned and both skirt and bodice are all hand finished- YES, hand finished. Second, the dress fabric was not originally a beige-like color but rather it was a hard white red floral print and the red was far too intense. In order soften the colors, I dyed it in a 1/2 bath of peach/beige and the end result was that the white was muted into a shade of beige and the hard red color of the floral print was warmed up.

The inspiration for our designs is often found in France, far across the ocean, but our heart is still in the American West. It gives me great pleasure to be able to bring the two together as I was able to do with this dress. Fashion design is a constant process of borrowing from the past for inspiration and while two designers may borrow the same idea from the past, the products they create will alway be uniquely different.  I look forward to designing a dress just for you. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s