I am short. But I like long dresses. It is almost impossible for me to buy one at a store without having to shorten it (and I am talking several inches ...) or adjust the fit on the top. So ... Since I love designing dresses, I started making maxi dresses that fit me!
I am always intrigued with combining different patterns and how they work together visually in my dress designs. I combined paisley and animal print in a dress; I matched contrasting colors in a dress. This time, I am sharing a dress design that combines animal print and camouflage!
I find that these two patterns are natural matches. I designed a dress fitted at the top with an A-line skirt. I overlapped the camouflage pattern with strips of animal print fabric. I positioned the overlay on the top front and top back to draw attention to the neckline.
Below you can see a detail of the overlay in the front. The patterns, while different, share similarities in color scheme and thus work well together. Both fabrics contains black, brown, and beige. The image on the right is a detail of the back. I inserted a revealed zipper.
I have been enjoying this dress. I like the pattern combination and the shape. It is a simple and comfortable silhouette appropriate for both work and leisure.
What do you think?
As I have been drawing daily and improving my fashion illustration skills, I am always looking for various sketching techniques. A recent visit to the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington D.C. brought metalpoint to my attention. "Drawing in Silver and Gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns" showcases works by Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Durer, Jasper Johns, and many other world known artists.
While I know the artists and can identify their works, this exhibition has taught me about their technique and the benefits of metalpoint. The medium was quite popular during the Renaissance. NGA explains: "An artist working in metalpoint uses a sharp, pointed instrument (a stylus) with a metal tip to draw on paper, parchment, or wood that has been specially coated. As the stylus travels across this slightly abrasive ground, a small amount of metal is scraped off and remains behind, creating a line. When first drawn, all metalpoint lines, including those made by gold, appear gray, an optical effect that stems in part from the breaking down of the metal into tiny particles. Some metals oxidize, or tarnish, to different colors over time: silver, for example, generally turns golden brown. Others, such as gold, never tarnish and remain gray."
Some of the benefits of metalpoint - and of silverpoint in particular - is that it is resistant to smearing and is exceptionally durable. Hence, we can enjoy art works from several centuries ago. The delicate lines of the point are great for capturing even the smallest detail.
Sketches by Leonardo da Vinci often make me pause and really study them. But, now that I understand the technique of metalpoint, I know I will look even closer as I have never tried if myself and find it fascinating to examine the process and tools of other artists.
The exhibition is open until July 26, 2015, and is located in the West Building Ground Floor.
If you have never been to the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., you should go. Yes, the collection is the first America's first museum of modern art - it opened in 1921. But ... the Phillips also houses a precious art piece, a favorite of mine, the Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-August Renoir! It is worth to stop by this museum just to see this one painting ...
There are two aspects of this painting that fascinate me.
First, I love paintings that tell a story of the time during which they were created. Renoir depicts a luncheon a time of relaxation in the lives of a group of Renoir's friends. They are by the Seine at the Maison Fournaise restaurant in Chatou. The painting provides an insight into how Parisians dresses at the time, how they socialized, and what they enjoyed doing in their free time. During Renoir's times, the society was changing - different social groups started to mingle - and this restaurant welcomed them all. We can see business men, artists, seamstresses, and writers here.
Second, this is a very personal piece for Renoir. Now that we understand how he commented on the changing society he lived in, we can focus on the individual characters in the art work. The Phillips Collection provides a lovely who's who here. I find it fascinating to learn about the people who played a role in the life of an artist who work I enjoy so much. For instance, the actress Ellen Andrée (6) drinks from a glass. Across from her in a brown bowler hat is Baron Raoul Barbier (4), a bon vivant and former mayor of colonial Saigon. Or, the young woman with a dog (1) is Aline Charigot (1), a seamstress Renoir had recently met and would later marry.
There is so much to learn about Renoir's masterpiece. He does a wonderful job telling a story in his Luncheon and it is well worth seeing it in person as to admire the size and the vivid colors. So, stop at the Phillips Collection to see one of it's most prized possessions!
I have kept you updated about my little white dress project for the Trend Analysis & Product Development at the Academy of Arts University. And it is now done! It has been a great semester full of learning and exploration and I am very excited about the outcome of my efforts.
Voila ... you can see my little white dress below. Once I finalized the design, I turned my pattern and fabric over to a seamstress. The purpose of this project was to work with other professionals in the field to learn about business communication and about how to effectively relay creative ideas. So, over the course of several weeks, I worked with a seamstress and we tested my ideas, made improvements, and in the end came up with a functional and aesthetically appealing little white dress.
The dress is fitted at the top with an invisible zipper in the back. The skirt is a circle skirt and as the fabric drapes down, it creates lovely folds and resembles an A-line skirt. There is a front panel and a waist band to add interested to the sea of white. The dress is made out of 100% sportswear twill cotton.
In addition to designing and producing the dress, the class assignment call for messaging and marketing. Hence, I came up with a design for a woven label that I attached to the inside on the back. I also designed hang tags - one to hold the brand and my name; another one to provide care instructions for the dress. Color scheme? Black, white, and magenta/pink - three of my favorite colors.
And finally, here is my packaging! I choose a shiny black paper bag with white and magenta tissue paper. I also designed another hang tag - this one wishes the customer a nice time wearing the dress and provides my website link.
I am excited about this project and the little white dress. I have learned tons about my work style, how to meet deadlines and come up with solutions under pressure. I know I will benefit from these new skills moving forward. Plus, the little white dress is pretty and it makes me happy!
Dresses are my favorite garment. I have designed and sewn many - over time I have realized that one of my favorite elements of designing is include interesting details. These details can take even a common silhouette or a simple dress to new heights and can definitely make me (or my customers) feel special and confident.
Below is an example of my design work. The front of this dress works with horizontal lines. I layered the base fabric with fabrics in other colors and textures, i.e. lace. All of the layers emphasize core areas - shoulders and waist.
The back of the dress works, to contrast the front, with vertical lines and this is where an interesting detail comes into play. I inserted an exposed white zipper - while the fabric has white in the pattern, the zipper stands out and draws attention. The zipper's position is both functional (it is easy to get in and out of this dress) and aesthetically appealing.
Each dress I design aims to combine practicality with interesting details ideas. This dress meets my goals well. I like the straightforward silhouette, the length of the sleeves, and the fabric. But I also enjoy the contrast created by the front layering and the back zipper.
If you wish to order a dress or a skirt, contact me!
Welcome! My textile/fashion design brand RADOST™ (Czech) is all about JOY (English).
In the blogs, I bring you thoughts on textile and fashion design, art, and travel.
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