Monday, November 23, 2015

Christmas Decoration 2015, Part III - 18th-Century Gown, DV Style

Now for 'La Grande Robe'. The image above was the inspiration for the Countessa's Christmas gown. Reproducing the distinctive shape, lines and volumes of that era, all the while using my own materials, will create something new and original. The caption underneath translated to English reads: 
Young Lady of Quality Wearing Grand Dress with Elegant Headdress

Protecting my seamstress mannequin is imperative as it will spend the winter months outside. I use thick garbage bags and make sure to seel every opening. 
I then use packing tape to redefine the feminine form.

Since the d├ęcolletage will be apparent, I used prints of 18th-century paintings, cut and glued on the chest and neck.

I first wrapped the chicken wire around the mannequin, then added sleeves and rolls of chicken wire around the hips to support the volume of the skirt.

I added a finer plastic mesh to the front panel for the hydrangea stems.

I defined the edges of the front panel with blue spruce.

Here you can see that the evergreen branches can be weaved through the chicken wire, but the hydrangea stems are thin and better suited for the finer plastic mesh.
I secure the stems with a dab of hot glue.

Front panel almost done.

Detail of chest area. 

It's starting to take shape. 
Come back later.


Gina @ VictorianWannaBe said...

Oh WOW, I will definitely come back later! Amazing! I love seeing how you start from the beginning.
Take care,

June Forkner-Dunn, PhD said...

I live in San Diego. My sister sent the photo to be this morning of your Christmas tree-dress. It is absolutely stunning. You should really send the photos to a magazine. Better yet, make a video of it next year during construction and post it on YouTube...I guarantee you it would go viral.

Your work is beyond-fabulous,