Saturday, October 24, 2009

My site stats tell me...

By far, one of the most interesting topics among readers of this blog is:

The dress Keira Knightley wore in Atonement (see earlier post on this subject)and another brief mention...

*Note to self: Add Atonement to Netflix queue today.

Floor length evening gown in emerald green silk. Flowing bias cut bodice with bow detail perforated in the neckline. Loose through the bust, spaghetti straps over the shoulder. Wide waistband wrap, gathered at the rear; knotted at the front and left to hang. Straight cut circle skirt with high front slit and rear train.

18k white gold and diamond star hair studs with matching ‘Cosmos’ bracelet both by Chanel. Gold cage front leather shoes custom made by Bally.

This dress is deceptive. Although simplistic in terms of a lack of appliqué, the complexities of the silhouette would have made it an arduous task to piece together and fit.

- This snippet is from a thoroughly researched and well-written article, found on the Clothes on Film website, is a very complete description of the magical details of this garment, the process of creating it, why it is so iconic, and many of the design features, finishing details, and construction points that made it so perfectly unique.

But wait folks... if you want to know more, it gets even better. Check out the Costumer's Guide for even more in depth analysis and detail.

The dress has achieved a sort of legendary status on the web. Read enough about it, and you will find all sorts of wildly inaccurate tales of the process, strange and false accounts of what it seems to be, and how to make your own...

Funny how this gown, featured very specifically one one actress, in one movie, and so specific to one story, has generated such a buzz among people who imagine themselves in something so similar. Pardon me for asking, but how many people have a figure like that, and places to go where such a dress would be appropriate, and not costumey? What I suggest to anyone dreaming of this dress, is to find your own unique design, suited to your own body, budget, skill, time limits, and circumstances. What you will learn, when reading the article, is that while the fragility and specificity of this dress would make it highly impractical for your own wardrobe, there are some really good design tips to be gained by reading the linked articles.

For example:

- Go for a great and unusual color. Or create the illusion of a color by layering a sheer fabric over another.

- Pay attention to how grainlines may be manipulated to achieve the fit and flow you desire.

- Look at the body type it is being designed for, and how that body navigates space. Let that dictate the fabric choice. A delicate, graceful gait can be enhanced by the right garment, and a heavier, or more athletic type can too... but you have to use your "artist eyes" to find the right silhouette and fabric weight.

- It isn't all about the dress. There is a dialogue that the wearer and garment create as they interact with their environment that creates the magic.

- Highlight the best features of your figure. There is as much beauty in a fragile, slight frame as there is in a curvaceous, ample one. Work with your own unique strengths.


Another topic that seems to be inexhaustible, is fabric shopping in New York City (see earlier post on this subject.

As much of my old information has become outdated, I will need to add to my post on this one. For one thing, I can tell you if you are in NYC for just a day, and just want to "stop in" to a fabric store and find some great fabric, I would suggest Paron. Real designer fabric leftovers to absolutely die for. No joke.

If you have at least an hour or more to spend, go to New York Elegant. However, if you are easily overwhelmed, I would avoid that one.

If you know what you need, and require quality, go to Rosen and Chadick. David and Ellen are fabric connoisseurs, and will help you get what you need.

Spandex House is truly the best places to go for sport, dance, swim, theatrical and recreational stretch fabrics, but make sure you go to New York Elegant for stretch fabrics like silk jersey, wool jersey, and stretch fabrics for your more elegant clothing. Seriously, the back left corner of the ground floor (once you come in from the entrance) is to die for...

If you need notions, trims, or other sewing accouterments, go to Daytona. If you are highly skilled, and need quality tools, notions or special interfacings, muslin, sample paper or patternmaking oaktag, go to Steinlauf and Stoller. For buttons, feathers, and all things that make your projects fabulous, go to M&J trimming or Joyce. The ones who offer ecommerce are great to order from. Most of them will send swatches, or help you with what you need, if you want to order by mail. There are many other completely valid choices of shops in the garment district, but between the stores mentioned above, I typically find everything I need.

Happy shopping!

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