At the beginning of this year a message came through on instagram from the sensational Lori of @greyhoundvintage. I was bowled over as I have been admiring this woman's style for long time and couldn't believe she had noticed my dresses!
Lori asked if there was anything she could do to help me as an emerging designer (the kindest thing ever) and I immediately said, let me design something for you!
Lori sent me over a couple of images, Adrian designs of old Hollywood, just about as dreamy as it gets for a starting point. I have to firstly admit that 1940s isn't really my era until 1947 and Diors New Look but Adrian and Old Hollywood gowns are great in any era.
Plus Lori is one of the very few people who can pull off 1940s without looking frumpy, instead I love the edge that she brings with her style. She's cool, intelligent and wears a dress in only the way a true star can.
The sketches and swatches
I started off with a few designs, I just wanted to design every gown for Lori! It needed to have the Old Hollywood styling and elegance with those extra wow factor statements like hood, belts and gloves. All this combined with the sass and poise of a confident icon.
These were sent over in February and Lori quickly chose the yellow, I loved this design with hood, gloves and belt.
We picked a soft lemon yellow crepe and black sequins for the gloves so that they had a glossy leather type look with extra texture. The gown itself was to be draped with pleated shoulders, cinched waist and draped overlay to the skirt creating that feminine goddess silhoette.
Making of the gown
I made the gown in the old studio above the shop, it seems so strange looking back how I has space to make anything up there but it worked. As this was a one of a kind piece the dress was hand draped until we had enough for a fitting.
Making of the Accessories
I absolutely loved making these gloves and the belt for this outfit. There is something so satisfying about long black sequin gloves! Especially once they had nails on. The pattern was taken from Lori's hand and they cut full length with an elastic tie that held the two together over the shoulders.
The final Outfit
At the beginning of June the dress was complete and the final look was just about as close to my hopes as it could be. I would probably revisit the satin slip and line the dress instead and may use a heavy crepe jersey or the wool crepe with a little more give to keep the pleats sharper. I'm really glad the hood was made larger to accommodate hair (thank you Lois for this suggestion!) and that it was lined in black satin which created a collar detail from the front and more drama to the back.
The belt was studded with jet Swarovski rhinestones along with the shoulders and hood. Finished with a small train.
The final Photos
Lori brought the dress to life and really made the look by being completely stunning in the dress. She was photographed in the dress by the king of vintage photos Neil Kendall.
I can't wait to work on another design for Lori.