I first designed this dress back in March 2019, it was the last dress I made before starting the Deadly is the Female collection. Made in a peony pink silk handwoven in India with deep crinoline hems, I wanted to create something pretty and classical in style. This is a style I am returning straight back to today taking reference from old masters, classical portraits and ballet.
I can't quite believe I didn't make more time to look at these photos last year but I think the wait has helped. I know my style more today than I did last year and I was a lot clearer in editing these images than I would have been then.
The photos were taken with model Sophie at Lynnsey Kelly's beautiful flower shop in Wells. She always has the most beautiful flowers and the way they sit against the dark walls of the shop make it look like a constant classical oil painting....
I wanted to look again at the Valentine dress. Re-imagine the styling and enjoy it whilst its here.
Its a wonderful dress and fabric. One of my classics in tulle. I love tulle, some people find it fiddly but I just love it and what magic it can create with all its sheerness and layering.
I cant get any more of this sweetheart flocked tulle so this dress really is a complete one of a kind. Still very much in love with it!
Photos by Alexandra King
Model Tietia Shotton.
This dress was all about the club kid getting into studio 54. The idea of this kid who hangs out at Harlem Drag balls (like in Paris is Burning) and is super into fashion. They want to get into studio 54 and the only way to do that is to have this amazing outfit.
So a shocking magenta pink sequin, layered with sheer black tulle and ballerina styling with ultra fine straps. I wanted the dress to be fun and flirty with a plunging neckline.
Made in a sequin fabric with a plunging low backed bodice and overlaid in black sunray pleated tulle. This is spectacular under the lights!
I imagined the kid to either wear a matching sequin beret like Bianca Jagger or a Veil as pictured like Diana Ross. They'd wear sheer black stockings with matching pink sequin strappy heels and have massive curls or a...
The dress design sketch
This dress was inspired by the idea of Cha Cha from Grease being at Studio 54. I love the way she rocks up to the prom in Grease, ready to win the dance competition and being the coolest girl ever. She totally steals the show.
I can ust imagine her being the life of the party at Studio 54 dancing all night with Bianca and Halston.
I knew instantly what the dress would be like once I saw the fabric. I love the glitter tulle, dotted with tiny holographic dots on a strong tulle.
The dress was designed with a boned boidce and classic 1950s full skirted shape but with visible cups. I really liked the sheer details of the studio 54 guests outfits and added sheer edging to the sweetheart and straps. I may want to take this further with a completely sheer bodice made from just a couple of layers of tulle.
The skirt is made up of layers of tulle all in this fabulous holographic tulle so that when you look through the tulle its like a whole universe of stars. I just...
Glitter tulle dress coat, The sketch.
This design is becoming a staple in the Alexandra King collections. First made as a bespoke silk organza dress coat which made it into the bespoke collection. Then in the fabulous Black Magic flocked stars and now as the Studio 54 inspired glitter disco tulle.
I love the idea of someone wearing it with just nude or glittering knickers.
The dress coat was made in the fabulous glitter tulle. The tulle itself has a matte texture like cotton tulle with tiny holographic dots all over giving colourful sparkles as it catches the light. The dress coat is cut with a princess line bodice, dropped waist and a full finely pleated skirt. Finished with a wide velvet sash to fit the waist as it wraps over itself.
Studio 54 enlightened my imagination way back when I was 14 or 15. TGI Friday (the ultimate disco movie) had been on TV and I purchased my first vintage garment, a 1970s russet red suede jacket with huge shearling collar. Before the internet I devoured books on anything fashion related and at the school library they had 'The Fashion Book' which introduced me to fashion and a basic history including the words studio 54.
So I was into 70s before I discovered 50s and fell head over heels with full skirts again. Ballet was my first love and is why I am obsessed with tulle and my first vintage study piece was a 1950s tulle prom dress. Grease the film came out in 70s so the 1970s seams to be that transforming decade when we started the real post modern obsession with referencing on a big scale. The 1970s went through the 30s 40s and 50s all in its 10 years.
Back to the dresses, I recently renewed my love of studio 54 after watching the new documentary and buying the beautiful...
This sample dress was an exercise in draping and cutting on the bias. I love the androgynous sexiness of the 1930s, clinging barely there gowns in silks and crepes. These then developed into the powerful designs of the 1940s before the return to ultra siss femininity in the 50s.
The two very differing shapes of the close fitting drapey bias cut of the 1930s and the full skirts of the 1950s are my favourite cuts. So this dress is back to bias.
Bias cuts can use a HUGE amount of fabric with lots of waste so you have be clever at cutting. Cutting on the Bias means you are using the fabric at a 45 degree angle. This creates drape and a little stretch to the fabric.
I usually roughly draft out a shape from my pattern blocks or drape straight on the stand. The cut is very simple but one wrong curve can make everything go terribly wrong as you are working with stretched fabric. Seams need to be smooth and straight.
I then pin the cut pieces of the dress on the stand a in the case of this dress allow...
This dress was the result of our experiments with pleated fabrics and it resulted in the most spectacular art deco inspired dress.
The dress is made in the silver lamé fabric and was first cut as two full circle skirts and then sunray pleated at Ciment pleaters by hand.
We then draped the bodice design and fixed each fold in place to become the old Hollywood classic it is.
This is a one of a kind piece.
Sketches for the Boulevard Vamp Dresses
The dresses are made in a silky drapey velvet with plunging V necklines, long ties to cinch the waist and full length bishop sleeves. Inspired by Old Hollywood 1930s icons and their vampy seductive gowns.
To finish I made a large leopard print muff bag as a statement piece and a matching turban for the leopard gown. I just love the dark green with the velvet, its very 1950s Dior.
Sketches for the Black Magic Collection. I loved using this black star tulle and the way it looked over colours and just in black and white.
It was perfect for a version of our 'Wallis' sheer dress coat, as a looser more modern style dress with a tie waist and a skirt and top.
On sheer tops I always hat the need for a bra or obvious line to cover the breasts and or nipples. Bandeau tops can be a hard line and I loved one of Sasha Velours sheer tops on Drag Race. It was a simple sheer top with plain black nipple covers.
With the stars I wanted bold coverage in the same way with the stars clustered over the nipples .
The full skirt has a shorter midnight blue lining which works so well with the black tulle or a dusky night sky.
Each piece is a one of a kind and available to buy ready to wear in the studio shop or online. For the styling I made a small black star face veil for added...
- Page 1 of 4