CDDC Challenge 5-On the Red Carpet

Challenge Five: November 1, 2009

Due: November 15, 2009

On the Red CarpetThis week’s guest judge is known for his fabulous gowns. So it seems only fitting that this challenge be all about, On the Red Carpet. Design a fabulous gown for your fabulous model as she walks down the red carpet with the stars.

Guest Judge: Jim Faraone

November 2, 2009
I haven’t even finished challenge four yet and I’m starting to think about challenge 5. Ooh, red carpet. Gowns. My specialty!! I loooove gowns. The glamour, the couture, oh this is going to be fun. Now the question is- what kind of gown?

November 3-Choosing Fabric
I started doing some research on red carpet fashion, and I notice most of the actresses wore slimmer gowns instead of a ballgown. There were a few ballgowns like Dior and vintage Haute Couture designers but for the most part they were slimmer or flowy. Probably more practical. Can you imagine sitting for 3 hours in a huge skirt? Although I love doing ballgowns, I immediately think of this taupe/aqua shot silk taffeta and matching chiffon that I have been wanting to do a dress of. Someone mentioned in the boards about doing their dream gown.

Hmmm. That taupe lace I have that I have been keeping to make such a gown. I pulled it out, and guess what? It matches the taupe silk taffeta and chiffon. The chiffon appears a little more rust but because it is irridescent. It’s actually really beautiful, very different and an odd color. If I can make all of this work, I think it will be a gorgeous gown.

Challenge 5 fabric

Challenge 5 fabric choices

November 4- Choosing the Model

Which doll to use? Sybarites seem so runway and red carpet. I can pose them in such a stance to really show of a gown. And their figure! They really show off. Tonner is nice too. I think about my best girl, Margeaux. Gosh she photographs well, but I hold the fabric up to her and she just doesn’t look good in it. And there isn’t much Margeaux doesn’t look good in.
Margeaux in Asian Beauty
I think maybe Annalise. She can wear this color-she did a great job in the Christian LaCroix gown I did out of the same taffeta.
Annalise in Fleur de Lis
Wish I could use that gown for this challenge. I don’t have it anymore, but gosh did it turn out gorgeous. Now Bebe also modeled that gown and looks pretty good in the color.
Bebe in Fleur de Lis OOAK gown

We’ll draft the pattern for a Syb and it should fit a Tonner as well if I decide to use them. Antoinette might be good too, but I think I want someone a little more dramatic (and with a bustline).

November 6-Designing the Gown
I do more research of the runway and red carpet gowns. Since I decided to use the lace, I need to figure out how I want to use it. It’s actually a vest-a sample piece I bought from where I used to work. It’s paneled with the scallop so I am limited in what I can do with it. I originally was going to do a mermaid type skirt with the scallop on the bottom, so I think I will still go with that idea. I just need to figure out the bodice.

I started drafting out the pattern for the skirt- measuring each scallop and piecing it together so it looks right. A challenge since each panel is pretty much the same length and I want this skirt to train a little. I’m going to have to piece this together in the bodice or back and depending on the bodice I choose, I may have to have a longer bodice of the taffeta or chiffon. I know I want some kind of shirring of the fabric across the bodice, I did play with the idea of an all lace, one sleeved gown as well. I think it looks too common, I need to do something a little different.

Challenge5 skirt

Skirt so far

Challenge5 back panel

Back panel piece in

November 7- Changing my Mind
Such a busy day today. I’m up at 6:30 to get ready to get Maddie to her Campfire garage sale, then to Mizuno volleyball practice then to her parks and rec volleyball game. At least by 2pm we’ll be done.

I’m a thinker, visionary-I am always playing designs in my head, and can’t always get them on paper. So all this time while I am hauling her around I think of bodice designs. When I think of one- then I think of another. When we finally got home I sketched a bunch of different bodice options. Yes I think I know what I am going to do.
While we were at Mizuno I went into the CDDC website from my Blackberry just to see if maybe the scores were posted. Yes they were already up! I thought maybe it was still from last week when I saw Emilia had won again. Drats! Well congrats to her, but I missed it by 1 point!! Am I getting competitive or what? No, actually I am happy for her. I picked out her design and knew immediately I had tough competition. I had such difficulty with that challenge that it doesn’t surprise me. I am surprised the the judges got my design at all.
When I got home I looked over all the scores and judges comments. Then I start to think about what makes one better than another on the criteria of Originality and Creativity? I decide to write to Larraine and see if she can shed a little light on the difference for me. Maybe it can help me and the other designers understand what the judges are looking for.

November 9- Judge’s Criteria
Larraine wrote back to me and said that she would post on the board what she sent to the judges for their judging of Originality and Creativity. Boy was the board active today. Since I found out what the judge’s look for, I change my idea yet again. Red carpet is hard to do an original of because everything has pretty much been done. And when you think of red carpet you think best dressed not worst. I always think Oscars or Emmys, but I guess one could do short, a tuxedo, or something else as long as it’s glamorous? I’m still staying with long and elegant. That is my style and aesthetic. I need to stay true to myself. It’s the little things that will make it different (I hope).

I got the front panel onto the lace for the skirt. I’m happy that it is really blending together well and you really can’t tell it is pieced.

Challenge5 beginning

Close up of front panel pieced in

challenge5 sample

This could be the start of an interesting design?


Please ignore my messy work area. Creative process in the works.

Funny, how as you start to put something together, how other things develop. An all lace halter gown could be interesting. But I think I am still going to stay with what I have planned. I was going to do a one shoulder but after getting that judge’s criteria- I decided it’s too common. Now sleeves aren’t done very often. Everything red carpet is strapless, or like this year, a lot of one shoulder. Hmmmmm….sleeves…

Sleeve ideas

November 13-Finally Underway
The sleeves just weren’t turning out how I imagined. I didn’t go this back and forth on the last challenge. Never have I questioned myself so much on designing as I have while doing this competition. I can see what the contestants go through on Project Runway. When you are being judged on your designs, a whole lot of other elements start to play.

I did a shirred bodice first and wasn’t sure about it. Something just wasn’t right. I don’t know if it’s because I am seeing them all over the place-especially on Tonner dolls. And then I started having problems with the front panel I attached- the silver thread started coming loose and fraying from the lace. So I ended up changing the design again. I now have a taffeta corset underbodice in which I will applique the lace flowers onto and morph them into the lace skirt.

Design sketch

Corset in progress

I need to make this one work because I don’t have the time to change my mind again. I still need to work on the shoes and make a clutch since all the actresses pretty much carry one on the red carpet. I can’t worry anymore about whether I can win or not. I’m creating something beautiful and we’ll just have to take it from there.

November 14-Final Touches
Well, the corset bodice ended up ditched too. For two reasons. One is the chiffon(which is such a @!tch to work with) would not lay right on the hips. It wrinkled too much since it was cut on the bias. Second was the sleeves were too common. Saw them everywhere-on Tonner designs, on the runway, just not original enough. And after reading the criteria again for Originality and Creativity, I decided to do one of my other designs.

Final design decision

Now I am on the final touches. And this is what is so time consuming. I’m making flowers out of organza ribbon and some of the taffeta to sew here and there on the gown. I need to bead some sections- I’m not beading all of it- don’t have the time.

November 17-Pictures Sent In Just In Time
I got my pictures sent in just in time Sunday night. I spent most of the day finishing up- and not without effort. I woke up that morning with a terrible cold- my nose was running, sneezing-ugh I was miserable- and I had a work luncheon to go to. Needless to say I persevered and made it through the day, got my gown finished and sent in.

On the Red Carpet entry

The pictures are up of everyone’s designs. There is some competition again. There’s a red one that is really pretty. I think it is Louos’s. I can tell which one is Emilia’s and Kathi’s too. My husband says the only thing about mine is the color- maybe the red background I used wasn’t the best thing- white might have shown off the color better. It’s so much prettier in person. The color just didn’t photograph that well and I should have kept that in mind more when I started. I just so wanted to use this lace. Well I think I will photograph my fabric choices first form now on- and on different backgrounds to see which will photograph the best. I think that is important in this competition as well.

November 21-The Judge’s Scores
Louos’s won. I knew it would. It is a really pretty gown. Emilia beat me again-this time by.5 which now makes us 2 points apart. Here’s what the judges had to say:

Shane: Theme: 3, Originality: 4, Creativity: 5,
Construction: 5

This fashion has a tremendous amount of potential but it also has several issues that keep it from getting the top score in theme. I absolutely love the colors and the fabrics that you have chosen! The manipulation of the bodice fabric is gorgeous. As far as issues go, I don’t understand why you only chose to bead certain areas. I think this fashion calls for beading throughout the skirt or no beading at all. The floral and bow adornment at the bodice is distracting and only takes away from your beautiful workmanship on the bodice. Finally the sheer lining and lace just would not be acceptable on the red carpet unless your doll is purposefully looking to create a scandal.

Diana & Janet Theme: 5, Originality: 4,
Creativity: 4.5, Construction: 4.5

Diana:
The muted colors are highly effective and give an additional depth to the workmanship of the bodice.

Janet:
You took a simple design and did something interesting with it. Bravo!

Judith: Theme: 5, Originality: 4.5, Creativity: 5
Construction: 5

Gorgeous design in wonderful hues. A perfect cut and fit for this curvaceous model. Stunning cohesive overall vision. My only question would be, is the velvet bow a tad too big for the delicacy of the gown?

Jim Faraone: Theme: 5, Originality: 4, Creativity: 4
Construction: 4

Simple yet elegant

Total Score:71.5

As far as the judges comments, I can see now what they see. I wish I could have beaded the whole gown- it was my intention but time ran out, and I was so sick that day of the final to get pics in I just couldn’t get it all done. Looking in the pics I see about the bow. It’s funny how pictures will show things you don’t see in person. When looking at it in person, the bow doesn’t look too big. Or maybe I just like it larger. Who knows- it’s all personal taste.

This keeps me in second place overall so far. Well, there are still three more challenges left. I’ve learned alot so far, I guess if everything was always perfect, I wouldn’t be learning.

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3 Comments

Filed under CDDC, Doll Thoughts, Fashion dolls, sewing

3 responses to “CDDC Challenge 5-On the Red Carpet

  1. emilia

    I loved your gown, Lori, and I didn’t think the bow was too big at all. Keep up the good work! You always inspire me to try harder! 🙂

    hugs,

    emilia

    Like

  2. I just have to know…are you formally trained as a designer? What advice would you have for me to design and make my own doll clothes? I have and Ellowyne, a Crissy and Velvet from the 70’s (dating myself), and I make cloth dolls. I would love to design and make their clothes. I have the designs in my head, and I am an excellent sewer, but I just need to put the bridge between the two.

    Thanks. Love your work!!!

    Like

    • I’m so glad you enjoy my work. I graduated from FIDM with an AA in Fashion Design. I have been sewing and designing since I was young-it’s just something I have always done. In school, I learned skills in pattern making and draping which enables me to put my designs into reality. To put your designs into reality for your dolls, you might want to research some flat pattern drafting and draping books. You say you are already an excellent seamstress, so you already understand garment construction which is importand when constructing garments for dolls. You just have to simplify them a little sometimes for dolls. One thing to remember is scale. Hope that helps!

      Like

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