Austin is a good art friend of mine who invited me to his school's prom. From the very beginning Austin and I had a specific image in our mind of what we wanted to create for our outfits. The theme of the prom was Great Gatsby so we both knew from the start that we wanted to take inspiration from that era. Every item that we're wearing was carefully added to coordinate with the other's outfit. My navy blue gown went with his navy blue velvet, smoking jacket. His gold tie clip and cuffs matched the gold specks in the fabric of my gown. The angles of my seam placements matched the angles of the design in his cuff links and tie clip. Each piece was created to fit together in order to create a whole image and story.
^photo credit: Austin
^He spray painted his laces gold to go with my dress.
The dress construction:
I have answered this question at least 150 times ever since I first started sewing "are you going to make your own prom dress?" The answer was always pretty much self explanatory if you knew how many hours of the day I spend in my room sewing.
The dress was completely hand drafted. Over 23 separate pattern pieces were drafted for this dress. It felt so much like a jig saw puzzle while drafting and measuring everything out. I used two different kinds of chiffon for the overlay. One was a plain, navy chiffon, and the other was a navy chiffon with small, gold dotted, grid lines which I used in the detailing of the dress. If you've ever worked with chiffon before you'll know that it's not the most user friendly of all the fabrics. I had to be very thoughtful of the grainline, otherwise the pattern would distort itself when it was moved to the sewing machine and the fit would be off.
The dress was sewn using all french seams to keep the overlay from unraveling and completely falling apart. Also I've found french seams to look sleeker when working with see-through fabric. The seam placements are actually details of the dress itself. Everything was cut out to create a triangle shape. The skirt seams were placed to create a triangle effect going down towards the skirt; this is also echoed in pleated seam around the v-shaped neckline in the front and back.
There are a total of 5 godets in the front, side and back using the gold speckled fabric so when I walked the gold would pop, but only very subtly. There's a slight train in the back godet of the dress, but nothing too long. I wanted to be sure that I could still dance without getting stepped on all night.
The lining is a completely separate dress made from bright cobalt satin fabric. At first I was going to use navy for the lining, but when I held the under the overlay, the detail of the french seams were lost. With the cobalt it was still blue enough to look navy, but at the same time show off the detail of the seams.
I was working on the dress far into the early morning (4am) of the day of the prom. I finished sewing the last detail of my dress literally 30 minutes before I left to get ready with the other girls. Overall I'd say around 90 hours went into the construction of this dress.
Instagram photo while working on the skirt seams.
I went to the prom with not only an awesome friend, but also an incredible artist! Austin has a knack for details and the ability to think from every side of a project; that's a wonderful aesthetic for an artist. He is a Junior in high school right now and hopes to attend an art school to pursue his passion for design. Keep a look out for his work in a few years, because he has the talent and dedication to pursue his dream and make it big time. Here are just a couple of his design works from this year:
Overall this felt more like an art collaboration project than a dance, but I think that's what made it so much fun. It got me really excited for college, because I know I'll have so many more collaborative projects with talented students in my field of study.
I hope you'll all having a wonderful start of the weekend!
these are stunning! and you did an amazing job on the dress, it is so beautiful! xReplyDelete
That's gorgeous! I can't believe you pieced together something so complicated from chiffon. It looks perfect.ReplyDelete
That dress is really, really beautiful and looks absolutely stunning on you!ReplyDelete
I love those pictures (part one of your gatsby prom was also AMAZING!) You are sooo beautiful and the dress is gorgeous :) I could stare at the pictures for hours.....:DReplyDelete
Your dress looks excellent. It definitely fits in well with the theme! Congrats and all the best with your future endeavors.ReplyDelete
Your dress is beautiful and you look stunning in it!ReplyDelete
the photos are stunning. You looked so amazing and stunning. The dress is so so so beautiful! <3 the time that went into it has to be worth it! He looked amazing too! His suit was cool.ReplyDelete
The dress is so, so stunning! You have no idea how much I love it. Excellent work!ReplyDelete
This is beautiful! Well done!ReplyDelete
You are so talented. A classic but still innovative and gorgeous dress.ReplyDelete
c'est magnifique! bravo!ReplyDelete
The dress is incredible and you look gorgeous! Both of you are so stylish and talented :)ReplyDelete
I find Your work absolutely spectacular. Being a fashion design student myself, Your blog always inspires me.ReplyDelete
I only just found you and your blog today, and I am completely blown away by your talent! Your work is truly astounding, and your life experiences show what a strong and amazing person you are. I'm also 18, and I can't even imagine having skills like yours - I'm also starting to art college this year and this has given me something to strive towards! Even though your work is intimidating, it is even more inspiring, so thank you for that, and I hope you get to where you deserve in life! :)ReplyDelete
Your patience and care in construction always amazes me! It looks like you two had a fun [and extremely elegant] time.ReplyDelete
love your blog !ReplyDelete
Esther, this is jaw-dropping !ReplyDelete
I believe Zelda Fitzgerald would want to wear your beautiful dress out with F. Scott on a breezy summer night with friends in Paris. It is so, so lovely, Esther. Some of your photos would shine in Vogue, seriously!ReplyDelete
Esther - you are a beautiful genius, that's what you are!!! This is beyond stunning!! What a lovely couple.ReplyDelete
Hi Esther! You're such a talented and beautiful young lady. Making/Designing/Sewing your own prom dress is simply amazing! You're an inspiration to us girls/ladies all over the world. Keep up the good work and good luck on your future endeavors!ReplyDelete
Stunning. You are so talented!ReplyDelete
This dress is fantastic! I love the mini-train in the back, and I can't believe you drafted the entire thing. It's really gorgeous, and working with all that chiffon is a serious accomplishment! Love it!ReplyDelete
holy shit that dress is amazing. the colour, the lines, the fabric, the construction.ReplyDelete
you are a truly gifted seamstress and designer, and your still so long! you are going to go so far!
You two are so bloody cute! I also had a gatsby prom this year but didn't go. What are your plans for the following year? Are you going to school or traveling? xoxo pilarReplyDelete
Wowzer, I can't deal with this! What an amazing dress! It's absolutely beautiful-- you should be so proud!ReplyDelete
It's been so long since I've visited here and what a shame. I almost forgot how talented you are. This dress is simply stunning. I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself. And whoa... college! You're going to love it, me thinks. xoReplyDelete
Uuuugh, are you kidding?! I'm blown away, you have some crazy crazy talent, and this dress is nothing short of....like, I can't even find a cool enough word. Amazing on speed or something. Just found your blog, and am an instant fan.ReplyDelete
any idea where you hope to attend college? I suggest you apply to RISD!ReplyDelete
I am attending Savannah College of Art and Design in the Fall. I was thinking about RISD for a while though. I heard great things about their fashion program! In the end SCAD offered the best scholarship, and I fell in love with the creative environment in Savannah.Delete
You and the dress are beautiful................cute guy....ReplyDelete
This dress is exquisite! You have a true talent for not just your construction skills but also in your design work and color choices. Can't wait to see some of your work from school! :DReplyDelete
THAT IS AMAZING! I'm looking into sewing my own prom dress! how exciting thanks for the inspiration! love your blogReplyDelete
Wow!! Everything looked perfect and true to the theme. This is one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever seen!ReplyDelete
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