Sunday, September 14, 2008

Atonement dress

This post was orinally published in December of 2007.

Saw a lovely article in The New York Post (which I don't normally read) about this dress (above), made for Keira Knightley's character in "Atonement". Make sure you read on to page two of the article, where the costume designer's (Jacqueline Durran) inspiration is explained.

I adore this article, because, unlike so many others, they don't make it seem that anyone just "whipped up" a little number for her. The article really lets you know that specificity, specialness and art take a considerable amount of time, expense, and experimentation.

At this summer's visit to the Cameron Art Museum in North Carolina, I learned that this simple looking dress, made by William Ivey Long for the show "Contact"...

took EIGHT tries to make.

EIGHT tries!

This means seven dresses, wadded up and tossed aside before getting to this one, which moved with the dancer like absolute magic.

So when you have to trash something on your way to achieving your vision, think of the effort involved in really creating something special.

Encouraging, isn't it?

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  1. Absolutely encouraging. Now I don't feel so bad for ditching so many ideas that didn't work for the project for which they were selected.

  2. I sure is!!! I feel much better about all those "drafts" sitting on my workbench.

  3. all handmade items take work...even if it looks probably took years to lean how to make it look easy...thanks for stoping by...hugs, rebecca

  4. OMG - 8 tries? I remember that dress from the last act. I remember thinking it was amazing, but I didn't realize until now just how amazing!

  5. wow patience! not something I have...I need to stop feeling guilty about my "wadders"

  6. I remember that dress from when the show toured -- what, like seven years ago? I remember thinking it was special the way it caught the light and just whipped around the stage.

  7. Interesting that you should post this today. I have to scrap a component today and start over on it. I hate ditching things, but I know it is right and I'll be much happier with the next version. Thanks!

  8. Not having seen Atonement yet (I think it's either just out or coming soon to DVD stores in Aus.) my unbiased opinion of this dress using your picture as a guide - my very first impression is of a very expensive and over-polished designer commercial (think: Chanel, etc). Glamour is the first word that springs to mind.

    But to look at, it's the combination of the bright, light-infused mint green and the silkiness of the fabric which gives it movement in this image. Pretty as a still picture!

    Let's see if my thoughts change after I see the movie.

    As for the gorgeous, perfect cut dress that took 8 tries... gives me hope as a novice seamstress in a mad kind of way - even the professionals can get it wrong (8 times...)