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CDDC- Challenge 8 Around the world in one Fashion!

The final challenge:

Challenge Eight: December 13, 2009

Due: January 3, 2010

Around the world in one Fashion! – Like Susie by R&D Fashion dolls, your model is a world traveler. On her arrival at her destination, it appears that her luggage went to Hoboken instead of with her. Now she must use what she is wearing to make a transition from day to night, but she needs that transition to reflect the city she is visiting. Please choose your city and don’t forget to tell us in your description what city it is. You should also give the judges a good description of how your style fits your city. As this is the last challenge this is your time to really show us YOUR style.

Guest Judge: Rudi Teruel

December 15-The Beginning
After the last challenge and what had happened, I even wonder if I should finish since I have no chance of winning or even getting second place now. But since it is the last challenge, I will persevere and finish the contest. I’m not a quitter no matter what.

So here we are. This is going to be a hard challenge. I really have to nail this one. To win this last challenge would be great, I would be the only designer to have won three challenges. And then there is the people’s choice award too- which I totally forgot about. So here is a new goal and motivation- win the final challenge.

So-back to the challenge. Day to Night. Most of the time the fashion mags suggest changing shoes, adding jewelry, changing a top. Well, we are limited on that. No changing shoes or clothes. She needs to use what she has on but she can leave pieces off in her hotel room. Thank goodness for that.
So I figure this needs to have a street vibe, layered type of outfit. I guess I need to pick my city of destination first. I looked at some books on street style in different cities, along with on the web. I’m finding some common trends throughout-leggings or skinny pants/jeans, tunics, trenches or jackets, big bags (thank goodness for that, she can keep some extra jewelry and an evening bag in it) and scarves. The one city which has it’s own vibe is Tokyo- certain looks- Shibuya, hime-kei, harajuku and gothic-lolita. Definite costume looks.

Shibuya Fashion



Hime-kei (princess style, casual princess fashion)

Hime-kei (princess style, casual princess fashion)



Gothic-Lolita

Gothic-Lolita

well you get the idea. I was thinking maybe Tokyo, but some of the designers had mentioned harajuku on the board before this challenge was announced. So I think there may be a few already doing Tokyo.

December 17- Still no City
The other city that interests me is Paris. Or London. In London anything goes from what I have seen. Paris- the heart of the fashion world- she would be able to incorporate runway. London street wear is, well, gotta do more research on that one.

Because I want to do a street style vibe- I need a model who can carry it off. I looked at the guest judge’s website to get an idea of his style. Oh I shouldn’t have done that. I fell in love with one of the RanDAngels. The Naked Truth collection in brown eyes. She is so cute- looks like a miniature of my beloved BJD’s. She’s got that youthful look I’m looking for and she’s a good price.

Well I ordered her and got her within a week. Not sure if I like her jointing, the resin-polyresin-seems like it will break easily. She’s still really cute though. I changed her eye position and added a brown banged wig. I’m going to look for another wig with bangs and curls for the night look. I also need to take pictures to see how she photographs and stands.

My new Katia

Katia stands well

Isn't she cute!

I think she will work out well. If not, then I’ll probably go with Bebe(Santa Baby Sybarite) again.

December 21-Fabrics
I pulled out my fabrics tonight. I plan on using a floral silk chiffon, black lace by Vivian Tam and either a light peachy pink or light lime green silk/cotton sateen. They all look really great together-I love mixing & matching different prints and textures together. When I think about it, this challenge is really up my alley because of my collections, and retail merchandising background. Takes me back to my visual display roots. I’m working on my design and have an idea of what I want to do.

Fabric and accessory selection for Challenge 8

Jan 1, 2010-Finally Getting Something Done
Worked on the jacket today-It’s starting to come out pretty cute I think. I got the dress done in the floral the other day, it turned out really cute but the lace one I had planned didn’t turn out at all. What I want to do is a lace dress that can be worn underneath the floral- with it’s lace peeking out, for day and for evening reverse them so the lace is layering over the floral. So I either need to change it a bit and forget the lace or come up with a new dress. I could probably do a tee over the floral dress with a belt and leggings, make it look like a skirt. We’ll see. I’m finishing the trench first.

Jan 4-Nothing Like The Last Minute
Of course I was down to the last minutes again. This time I cut it closer than I ever had. I got the trench finished-turned out great. I lined it from a vintage kimono panel. Decided on a tee, and embellished it with a graphic print and Swarovski crystals. Made a metallic gold faux leather satchel, and finished maryjane style platforms. The whole look put together was very cute-young, modern with a street vibe layering look. Katia, my new model was great. The dress was nice too- but I forgot to add necklaces to the night look so I think it looked a little plain. Needed that extra oomph. But I realized that after I downloaded the pics and I needed to get them sent off. That is what you face when you procrastinate! I should have known better than to wait until the last minute. I ended up settling on Paris and here is a little story that went along with it:
Katia isn’t new to having her luggage lost en route. So she knows when traveling to make sure she has pieces on that will take her from day to night. She starts with the street wear look of layering, an embellished graphic tee over her dress to make it more casual for day wear. Underneath she wears black leggings, and over it all a stylish, modernized trench from the Spring 2010 collections. Katia accessorizes with mary jane stylized platforms and floral printed mesh scarf held closed by her grandmother’s cameo brooch. She also travels with her beloved metallic gold leather satchel that hold a few extras for her transformation to night.
Once in Paris, she checks into her hotel to change for the party that night in honor of the new Spring Couture collections being shown this week. Katia quickly fixes her hair into a little more wild do. She switches her leggings to mesh anklets, and removes her tee, and scarf. Her dress, that was underneath the tee, is of silk floral chiffon, bias cut with a draped neckline and spaghetti straps. It has a cute ruffled hemline which from underneath peeks out black lace. Katia dons her trench once again, this time adding her cameo and a few other brooches to dress up for nighttime. Unfortunately, she left in such a hurry, she forgot her necklaces! Oh no, she hopes the brooches are enough for the Paris crowd.

I had to come up with something about the dress being plain! Needless to say, I got my pictures done and sent in with 10 minutes to spare to deadline. Now we wait.

Challenge 8

Dress alone

Trench closed and belted

The pics are up first thing. Larraine has done such a super job in having this whole competition on time and organized. I would definitely do another with her because of her professionalism. It’s really been a fun experience.
So there are great entries. Everyone put great effort out there and it’s tough. #5 is amazing and really hits the mark on the day to night dressing. I really think that is the one that will win. #4 is really good too. I feel mine is so plain now, not enough creativeness, but we’ll see. I really hate waiting sometimes.

Jan 10-Drum Roll Please
The scores are up this afternoon. Dal Lowenbein-entry #5-won Challenge 8! Her second challenge in a row. I knew she would. Great Job Dal!
And to my complete surprise I came in second! Who would’ve known? With the other great entries I really didn’t think I would score what I did, but I’m not complaining. Here are the judges scores and comments on my last entry:

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

I absolutely adore your work on this challenge! Your coat and dress are just beautiful! You have done a wonderful job on the transition but I don’t feel that you have reflected your destination city as clearly as others have.

Diana & Janet: Theme: 4, Originality: 3.5,
Creativity: 4, Construction: 4

Diana:
Bravo on the trench coat and also the dress! I thought these two pieces were especially nice. Although the look did change, the garment pieces themselves didn’t actually change, and it would have been more imaginative if they had. I also thought the grandmother’s brooch was an excellent touch.

Janet:
All the pieces were well made and looked lovely. I was looking for a greater change and I would have made the lace bottom a slip for daytime, and allow it to hang longer in the evening, for a glamourous look.

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

Perfect combination of pieces to apply the transformation from day to evening. Great description for a gorgeous outfit! The satin trench is a pretty shade that tones well with the floral chiffon. Love the black lace petticoat frill, only obvious when the tights are removed.

Rudi Teruel: Theme: 5, Originality: 5, Creativity: 5
Construction: 5

This one works for me as well, the design reflects the doll of choice – youthfulness, fun, frilly… and still carries the air of sophistication – just as most Parisians do…. also refreshing to see something young and very modern done creatively.

Total Score:75

Rudi hit it on the mark. That was exactly what I was going for in my look, and the reason I choose his doll to model it. I had the design in my head before I even knew who was going to model it and his RnD Angels were the perfect models. I as right about her resin though- she did end up getting a few chips in the process, and one at her eye when I went to fix her eyelash. Bummer. But, she was really fun to design for and am hoping to do more for her. She’s just like my BJD’S.

So, the final results of the Couture Doll Design Challenge are:

Winner: Emilia Nieminen

Second Place: Dal Lowenbein

And the People’s Choice Winner: Lori Lyon
I won the people’s choice!! Yipeee!(although completely flabbergasted)

This has been such an experience, and yes, I would do it again. It pushed me to do things I may not have normally and tested my designing and endurance. Sometimes you wonder if you are good enough or not and this definitely did that. With the time limits and themes, you just had to ‘Make it Work’. I know I grew as a designer with this experience and I thank each and every one of you for your support.
Now it is back to real life, although I have some great ideas for collections and OOAK’s, so please continue to visit my blog to keep updated on what’s new!

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Filed under BJD's, CDDC, Fashion dolls, sewing

CDDC- Challenge #6- Inspired by Audrey

Challenge Six: November 15, 2009

Due: November 29, 2009

Inspired by Audrey – This week’s guest judge takes his inspirations for his incredible collections from many areas. This week you must take on a muse that has inspired Randall Craig himself. Your challenge this week is to create a design that is Inspired by Audrey(Hepburn). This should not be a remade or copied Audrey outfit, but something that you have designed that would suit Audrey’s style and be something Audrey would have loved to wear.

Guest Judge: Randall Craig


November 18th-Studying for the Challenge

I love Audrey Hepburn. When you think of her what comes to mind? Elegance, classicism, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but most of all Style. Along with her good friend Hubert de Givenchy, the two of them created a look that has survived decades.

the famous Breakfast at Tiffany's gown

I went to the library yesterday and picked up some fashion books and one of Audrey’s personal life. I have been looking through them and think I have a concept of what to do. I also had looked at runway shows of recent- especially Chanel’s Spring 2009 Couture all white show.

Chanel Spring 2009 Couture

Chanel Spring 2009 Couture

Close up. Notice the funnel style neckline

And of course surfed the net for info on Audrey. She was classic in her dress- her style emanated from within her, but quality was of most important. So I must use good fabrics and clean lines and make sure it is immaculately well made. For this challenge I will go with my muse of Antoinette again. She is perfect for this challenge with her small bustline and slim figure. My Ellowyne, Madly Sadly Plaid might be good too because of her short pixie haircut, and she is small busted as well, but I think she might be too young, not sophisticated enough for my design. The model is everything.

November 21-Getting into Audrey Mode
I watched a couple of movies, How to Steal a Million,(which I had never seen before, quite enjoyable), Charade(always love Cary Grant), Funny Face (ah the clothes) and of course the all time favorite Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I watched that this morning. I think watching these just reinforces my decision. I’m going the sixties route-anything retro is always in style nowadays.
I made some sketches and narrowed it down to two. I decided to do a coat over a dress, one is a little more stylized than the other.
first sketch

first sketch for Audrey challenge

November 23-Making the Toiles
I made a muslin of the dress-didn’t like it at all- too dowdy. Even out of the fabric it is going to lack, and besides, I don’t think Audrey would do a V-neckline no matter how small it was.

first muslin toile-dowdy huh?

Back to the drawing board. I will go with one of my other sketches now.

Audrey Challenge sketch

Audrey Challenge sketch 2

One is more stylized, probably more in tune with today, the other I think is more Audrey’s style-especially more retro feeling. I’ll make up a toile of the dresses and take it from there. I went shopping yesterday and picked up a beautiful ivory stretch crepe, because the herringbone wool I picked up at Joann’s, as beautiful as it was, I think it will be too heavy for doll scale. That is always a challenge.

New toiles of the dresses:

peg skirt toile

This one I think ended up too pegged. I love the top, it fits well and I think it will work. The skirt is cute but just not for this challenge.

This one is perfect

I took out some of the gathers and widened the skirt a bit at the bottom. I think this is what I am looking for. Clean, simple, nice fit and add a black ribbon waistband with a bow-Voila!! (of course it will be made out of the real fabric.

November 29-Finishing Up
I spent all day finishing this challenge. I wish I had the time to finish earlier instead of rushing at the last minute. But I got it done. Sewed the jacket up in one day-it was a challenge to draft the pattern for it, raglan sleeves are not easy to do the proper way and in doll size.

sloper patterns for drafting

But I have to say, I think the whole look is classic & very Audrey. I don’t know what kind of points I’ll score since it isn’t very original just classic. It’s hard when we have these vintage challenges to do- everything seems like it has been done. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Inspired by Audrey challenge #6

November 30-Challenge Pics are Up
I had finished at the last minute again and therefore my pic is one of the last ones on the page. I really want to get this next challenge done early so my pics will end up one of the first on the page.

There are some really nice entries again. I think #2 is going to win. I’m not sure who did it, but I do know which one is Emilia’s and Louos’s(since he gave a hint on the board, I can tell his style).
Anyway, #2 is very cute and inventive. Mine is so simple and classic- but then that is how Audrey was- so maybe I’ll still get decent scores to keep me in place. At least my construction is perfect. Now it’s just waiting on the scores and onto the next challenge.

December 6-Challenge Scores are up!
On weekend mornings I have a routine- make my coffee, and read my emails. Boy was I surprised when I saw the email from Larraine stating that I won challenge #6. I won? Totally unexpected. I thought for sure #2, which ended up to be Dal’s was going to win for sure. I thought it was so cute, and the cape was beautiful! Kathi’s was really nice too and classic Audrey, and Emilia’s was so creative.
I am very happy I won, I put alot of effort into this challenge and it paid off. I am still second overall with only one point behind Emilia now.

Here’s what the judge’s had to say:

Shane:Theme: 5, Originality: 4.5, Creativity: 4,
Construction: 5
This fashion meets the theme 100%. I can absolutely picture Audrey in this. It’s beautifully done.

Diana and Janet: Theme: 5, Originality: 5,
Creativity: 5, Construction: 5

Diana:
So perfect. The monochromatic effect leads the eye to the lines of the garment. Great back yoke seam.

Janet:
It’s beautiful. I like the lines in the coat the unique raglan sleeve.

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

Stunning tailored suit! A perfect solution to Audrey’s classic elegance. This design is timeless in its sophistication and perfectly contrived.

Randall Craig: Theme: 5, Originality: 5, Creativity: 5
Construction: 5

Absolutely dead-on and FABULOUS! It’s simple but not the least bit boring. The seam lines add the perfect amount of interest to a primarily off-white garment. The hints of black balance it out perfectly. The quality is stunning and professional. I can’t say enough … I love it!

Total points 78, first in challenge, second in overall competition.

I think Randall did a great job of judging and comments. A question was asked on the board(yahoo) about what to take on judges comments. As Dal said on the board, ‘Judging is subjective just as we are with fabric and design choices and even with the entries we like here in this challenge.’ And she is so right. I also think that it helps to know who your judge’s are-what their design aesthetic is, to determine what their taste is. But overall, I think you have to be true to yourself. And follow Tim Gunn when he says to the designers on PR, Edit!!

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Filed under Boutique, CDDC, Doll Thoughts, Fashion dolls, sewing

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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Filed under CDDC, Doll Thoughts, Fashion dolls, sewing

CDDC-Challenge #4- On the Fashion Edge

Due: November 2, 2009

On the Fashion Edge – This week’s guest judge is an amazing doll artist. His OOAK creations are always on the cutting edge. This week you must create an avante guarde casual outfit(no you don’t have to use an Avant Guard doll) This
outfit must be edgy…think Alexander McQueen.

Guest Judge: Rob Thompson

Oct 22

It’s been four days since we received this challenge, and I am no closer to having an idea than I did the first day. I must be on fashion overload right now, because I just cannot get inspired here. I have looked at all of the edgier designers out there for the last four days. Think Alexander McQueen. OK. Love his stuff but I’ve been there. My whole Highland Punk collection was inspired by his Fall 2006 collection.
Highland Punk Collection by MRC

I’m having a really hard time here. I keep going to a red snakeskin I have and mixing it with the gold lace but then that is too much like my Asian Fusion collection that was featured in Hautedoll.
Red Snakeskin sample

Asian Fusion

Asian Fusion by MRC

I need one really good look and I am getting too many ideas, and having a hard time narrowing it down. Maybe I should just design a collection, and one look always stands out. There is one collection I have been dying to do for a while now and I might be able to incorporate an edgier look into it. I’ll have to delve a little more into that idea.

Oct 23

After doing more research and some sketching, I think I might have come up with something. I’m going with the snake. For some reason I just keep coming back to it, and it will look great on Mystique (Sybarite Swallow). She is such an obvious choice for this challenge because she is so runway-and strikingly beautiful with her smokey eyes.
But I am going to use it in a different way. I think I will still use a touch of the lace or free motion embroidered an applique. Actually the ideas are starting to evolve into a collection. The other collections I had planned, I think I will postpone. One I can do for early spring, the other that I mentioned yesterday I think I will do for winter.
I am starting to get some really good ideas, and today I found a really cool burn out velvet for a price I can’t even say because it was such a steal, that coordinates great with the snake for an OOAK gown. Now I have to get on the ball and sculpt some platforms to make a mold, since they take a while to make. Oh I hope this whole idea turns out.
Fabric selection

Oct 27

I think I have come up with a concept. The red snake fabric is really calling to me for this challenge, so I start to think about snake type words. If I am doing a whole collection now (as a side project) I need a name for the collection. A word comes to me
Basilisk
Yes, the giant serpent from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I start to do research on this word and learn about its mythological origins. From Encyclopedia Mythologica:
The mythical king of the serpents. The basilisk, or cockatrice, is a creature that is born from a spherical, yolkless egg, laid during the days of Sirius (the Dog Star) by a seven-year-old rooster and hatched by a toad.
The basilisk could have originated from the horned adder or hooded cobra from India. Pliny the Elder described it simply as a snake with a golden crown. By the Middle Ages, it had become a snake with the head of a bird, and sometimes with the head a human.
According to legend, there are two species of the creature. The first kind burns everything it approaches, and the second kind can kill every living thing with a mere glance.

Now I am thinking- the snakeskin for the jacket with a collar folding to represent the hooded cobra. The lace eyecap with feather headpieces resembles the head of the Basilisk. A sarong style skirt with a long flowing train to look like the snake’s body. I can picture it in my mind’s eye……
I just hope I can bring my vision to life.

Oct 28

I sewed for the best part of the evening and was able to get the base of the jacket finished. I need to do lining and figure out how I am going to do this collar to get the effect I want.
I made my mold for the platform boots I have planned and now it’s time to cast- let’s hope these turn out.

Oct 30

The last few days I have not had a chance to work on my garment except for casting several pairs of soles in an effort to get the heel right. The resin just wasn’t flowing in there correctly or my heel didn’t form right in the mold. They just are not working out. My fingers are raw from working with the resin and acetone and I can’t work with the stuff with the gloves I have on hand. O.k time to quit this I’m spending too much time on it and still have to finish my skirt and the rest of the accessories.

Nov 1

It’s due tomorrow. I have the jacket to finish, skirt to do, boots to make-oh am I going to get it done on time?

I work on it most of the day- figured out the collar and get the jacket finished. The lace for the cap I sew around her head and start spraying with fabric stiff(a little secret great for making hats). The boots- those are going to be a problem. What can I do for heels? I start to think about a mag layout I saw and how this model was standing on heelless boots. Those are the Nina Ricci boots I saw in my research of runway.
Baazar fashion spread

Nina Ricci boots

I’ll just chop off the heels and make them heelless. It’ll be like she’s ready to spring at her prey. OK that is decided.

Nov 2 Due date

Thank goodness we had an extra day for this challenge. I don’t think I would have made it otherwise. No one home to disturb me- I work quietly and make progress. The jacket is finished. I start on the boots and while each part dries I start the skirt. Figuring out that drape was a challenge because I had wanted it to do something else but was running out of time and it wouldn’t have worked out anyway. Overall- I made it on time with about an hour and a half to spare. I am happy with how my vision turned out I just hope the judges ‘get it’. This challenge proved very difficult for me as I am more classic in my aesthetic. I just hope I didn’t go too far out there.

Basilisk- Challenge #4 Avant Garde

Side view

Nov 7

I was so busy today- up and out at 7:30am for DD’s Campfire garage sale- then driving quickly up to volleyball clinic and back into town for a volleyball game at 1pm. Thank goodness for my Blackberry. I was able to log in to CDDC and saw that the scores were up. Did the judges get my design? There were so many great out there designs I thought it would be hard to judge. And Emilia’s- I could tell hers right away was very cool. She is pushing me in each challenge – but it is interesting to see our interests are similar. After reading her blog, her inspiration for the shoes were the same as mine. It’s hard to compete against someone on the same wavelength. But cheers to her for winning. I’m probably keeping her on her toes also since I am so close behind her. hehe

Well the judges had good comments and it would be interesting to find out how they determine each score-
Fashion like any art is a matter of taste-

Shane Theme: 4.5, Originality: 4, Creativity: 5, Construction: 5

Wow! This is a gorgeously made fantastic look! I love your molded gold headpiece!

Diana & JanetTheme: 4.5
Originality: 4.5, Creativity: 4.5, Construction: 4.5

Diana:
This really hits the mark! Brava! The headpiece/hat is drop-dead gorgeous and I love the boots.

Janet:

Exceptional! Truly avante-garde. Love the mix of fabric types and textures. Great fit on the jacket and the feather detail is a nice touch.

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

Love the idea and mythology behind this design. The textured snakeskin fabric is great, the colors are foreboding and the mask a stroke of genius. All makes for an elegant and sophisticated outfit. The shoes are nouvelle mode!

Rob Thompson: Theme: 5
Originality: 5, Creativity: 5, Construction: 5

I really like this fashion; it feels Avant Garde from the start. I like the fresh cut of the jacket and the cut and drape of the skirt works to carry your theme through. The shoes are fantastic, I adore them! The lace cap with in scale feathers is a great detail. Again, I am happy to see you not use a wig with this fashion. The necklace finishes the look with just the needed little extra touch. This fashion fits everything I think of when I think of Avant Garde, edgy, and fashion forward. You achieved perfection! Bravo! And I want those shoes, in several colors!

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CDDC Challenge #3-Embellishment

Oct 6th

Em-bel-lish: v. 1. To add beauty or ornamentation; decorate. 2. To heighten the interest of by adding details.

Here is our new challenge given Oct 4:
Embellished – Our guest judge this week is known for her fabulous embellishments. Use your creative skills to create an outfit that is the epitome of perfect embellishment.

Hmmm, I don’t really embellish my designs much-well at least not for the 16″ divas. Now my BJD’s I’ve been doing the silk ribbon embroidery and the 18th c gowns which in the 18th century embellishment was the thing.

My first thought of inspiration for this challenge was to check out my files and books on LaCroix. One of my favorite designers, his use of embellishment, fabric mixing and draping is unsurpassed. He, in my eyes, is a true genius in the fashion world.

Original inspiration design

Original inspiration design


00200m
Detail

Detail


My other thought is to also go through my historical books, especially ‘Historical Detail of the 17th and 18th Centuries’. Wow, the embroideries, trims and fabrics are amazing. Slowly, ideas start forming in my head, maybe mixing a little of my SRE with free motion machine embroidery appliques, 18th c fashion…… to the sketchbook!!!!
18c corset
18th c stomacher
Corset third quarter of 18th c
18thc gown


Oct 7th

Started gathering up fabrics today. I have some brocades, tapestry types and lace. Nothing is really coming together yet, not sure what I want to do the skirt in. So I decide to check out a couple fabric stores.
I only made it to one store and found a tan with light green, pink and light brown check heavy taffeta type fabric. I have some damask and other tapestry fabric that I think might blend with this. And my gold lace that I plan on doing applique with will look good too. Unless I decide to do the pink and gold lace I have. We’ll see after the base is done.

embroidered birds and butterflies maybe?

embroidered birds and butterflies maybe?


So I now have my preliminary fabrics, I start drafting a base pattern for my muse. For this challenge I decide to use Antoinette- I just got her after being preordered forever and soon discover her body is completely different than any of my other dolls. First step now is a basic sloper! I got that done tonight- so I think I will call it a night for now.


Oct 12 9am

I worked most of the weekend on the corset. The fit ended up a little smaller than anticipated but will still work I think. It depends on how much of a perfectionist I am going to be with this. I need to finish the bottom edge today and figure out how to put the sleeves in. Probably hand sewing which I hate to do. The silk ribbon embroidery though, turned out very nice. Overall I am liking the look so far. I wish I would have thought out the construction on this a little more, but when you do your own patterns it is always a trial and error. I just don’t have the time to spend on too much error. Like Tim Gunn says- “Make it work”!!!



Oct 12 6pm

The sleeves just aren’t working out. I didn’t think through construction and the armholes are too small to try to hand sew for it to even look presentable. I tried satin stitching around them-it is ok but not up to my standards. I’ll go forward with a mesh top underneath instead of just sleeves and work on the skirt. Hopefully I will have time to redo the corset. Maybe without straps this time.
first corset



Oct 14 9am

I managed to make a little top instead of sewing sleeves to the corset. It turned out very cute but something is still not right. I worked on the skirt most of yesterday and that isn’t turning out like I planned either. UGH!!! I hate when this happens but it can’t turn out perfect every time. I think the corset is throwing me off. Right now it looks too Ren Faire. I am going to work on a new one today and streamline it more. For one, make it strapless, and change the bottom of it. Maybe that will help. I should have just gone with a wedding dress- but I am sure someone is doing that. I mean, how perfect is a wedding gown for embellishment?



Oct 14 9:47pm

Worked on a new corset today. Got the whole thing done-SRE and beading. All I have to do tomorrow is the binding on the bottom.
I have also played around with skirt some more and now I think I will go short. It seems more playful especially for Antoinette. I kept looking at all my LaCroix files for skirts and I’m really liking his shorter fuller skirts. So I have a few ideas to play with. I also did a gold lace top- but I like the black with pink embroidery and to do black tights on her with the lighter muted pastel colors. I think it needs a sleep on it again. Ideas always come to me in the middle of the night. (Doesn’t provide very good sleep sometimes though.)

LoriLDetailExtra



Oct 18th 10:45 pm

Just sent my pics off. Whew! Again, sending them in at the last moment almost. Well, I ended up going short with the skirt and love the way the whole thing turned out. My daughter really likes it too-especially how I did her hair.
Hair styled
Hair back

I mean, I pretty much went all out on this-styled it to a T. Very LaCroix, I think. I spent all day making shoes- sculpted heels yesterday and made a mold. Casted two heels today and finished the black satin pumps because I pretty much have no shoes for Antoinette.
Shoes
She was pretty fun to design and sew for and very fun to photograph. I just wished she would stand a little better on her own. Now I am inspired to do some more things for her.
LoriLFront
LoriLExtra2
LoriLBack
LoriLExtra3

Now that this challenge is finished, I have the daughter’s Halloween costume to sew.
Wish me luck on the Challenge and the Halloween costume(on getting in finished in time!)




Oct 25 9am

The scores are in. I didn’t win or come in second. But I did come in third and am now in second place overall. Not bad. This next one is going to be tough- but the whole competition is pushing me to lengths I haven’t really gone before. I’m sure after this whole thing is finished I will have grown as a designer.
Well here is what the judges had to say:

Shane Theme: 4.5, Originality: 4.5, Creativity: 3, Construction: 5

I admit I struggled with this one a bit. I absolutely love the lines of the fashion and the embellishment is mostly fantastic. The ruching on the skirt and the delicate ribbon embroidery and beading on the corset send me. I think the embroidery on the blouse and the jeweled adornment on the corset go too far and become a distraction from an otherwise fantastic look. Finally I think I would like to see the corset and the skirt better tied to one another through a slightly higher level of matching or complimentary colors.

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

Diana:

I was very taken with the overall effect of this outfit, and the imagination of bringing the pieces together. Great work on the corset.

Janet:

I think this is utterly beautiful, and I was enthralled in the detailing in the corset. My eye was slightly distracted by the uneven finish on the delicate neckline of the sheer top. A better finish here would have taken it over the top!

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

Tremendous outfit, wonderful skirt. Something different with fabulous detail.
Lovely silhouette.

Magalie Dawson: Theme: 5, Originality: 4, Creativity: 4, Construction: 4

I must have spent the most time on this design trying to decide if the mismatch of the elements worked or not. At first look, I loved it, and after I thought that the plaid taffeta did not work. But finally I saw that the silk ribbons repeated the colors in the skirt, and the mesh top tied with the black tights. The embroidery work is exquisite. I love the asymmetrical look, just as if roses had bloomed there naturally. I would have liked the mesh top to be a little more finished, but I love it!

Total Score: 71.5

After reading the judges comments, I saw the finishing on the top in the pictures, but had submitted already before I noticed it. That is the problem with waiting till the last minute. I didn’t have the time and was too tired to really take in the details shown in pics. I also wondered if the judges would ‘get’ my design. Like I said before it was very LaCroix and not everyone gets Christian LaCroix with the mixing of patterns and stuff and his use of embellishments. Overall I was very happy with my design and I guess that is what counts.

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CDDC-#3

Pics were sent in late last night. Glad I got everything done in time. I’m pretty happy with how my design turned out and I stayed very true to myself. Although I did have some problems in the whole process. Definitely a learning experience. I think with each challenge right now, it’s making me test and push myself more and more. I do need to work though or sell my designs!
You’ll have to wait until the judging is over to see my post on the whole process. Meanwhile you can check out the competition here:
Couture Doll Design Challenge

Wish me luck!!

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CDDC- I won!

I won Challenge 2- I am in complete awe- because there were some really good designs there. I’m happy, especially since I went so back and forth with this design. I guess you should always stay true to your design aesthetic and inspiration. It paid off.
Here are the judges comments:

Shane-Beautiful shoes and the perfect fashion to go with them.

Diana
– The handmade shoes score high points with me. Excellent research and very striking effect when matched with the garment.

Janet
– A lovely choice. Tailored jacket is well fitted and cuffs aren’t easy! The presentation also adds much to the whole look, but the work is also evident.

Judith-From the artfully fashioned shoes to the perfectly tailored jacket this outfit is a sophisticated choice for the challenge. These brilliant shoes show a very slick design sensibility …I could see them being worn to an Armani boutique opening or fashion week or the like! Love the mini sequins with the tailored jacket and the use of snakeskin to pull the accessories together is ingenious!

Joe Tai-The fabric of shoes is same as belt and handbag, and shoes are gold as skirt, highly match the whole work.

My total score was 74 and now puts me in 3rd for overall. I definitely need to keep challenging myself.

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