Monday, July 20, 2015

The 1935 Vionnet Dress goes to Hollywood

I've spent the last week or so in Los Angeles for work, and I've been staying with a friend of mine who lives in Hollywood.  I used to live in Los Angeles, and it's good to be back. 
My friend lives a couple of blocks away from the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Grauman's Chinese Theater, which seems fantastic and exotic until you become a local and all the tourists crowding the sidewalks get a little old, and Batman and Spiderman keep hassling you.
This Hollywood business all sounds shockingly glamorous, but surprisingly enough, this is one of the few areas of the city which isn't too sketchy but where the rent is still somewhat affordable.  The same goes for some parts of Beverly Hills.  The LA rental market is a strange beast.

Anyway, her apartment building has a rooftop pool with an amazing view of the LA skyline, everything from downtown to the cluster of skyscrapers around Wilshire and Westwood.  What better place for a photo shoot with the four-ply silk crepe 1935 Vionnet dress?  You can read the construction details here; this post is just photos of the completed project.
I really love how the raking light shows off the gathering of the bodice.
Here I am, with downtown LA in the background.  I had my friend try on the dress-- she's the same size as me, but has a completely different build, with a large bust and small hips, whereas I have a small bust and large hips.  This dress looked comically awful on her-- it completely overemphasized her bust.  Obviously I do not have any pictures to post here.
It was a very windy night, which worked in my favor because the the wind kept causing the skirt to billow dramatically.  Also, notice how the shape of the dress is formed almost exclusively by pulling some material from each of the two sides and fastening it at the front.
It was also a very humid night, and it was actually raining lightly, which is why my hair is a little silly in this picture.  I just love how the tension in the strap keeps the back bodice of the dress gathered in a semicircle.
The off-camera flash didn't fire in this picture, and this was the best I could do in Adobe Lightroom.  It has an over-PP'ed look to it, because I did have to apply too much postprocessing in order to get anything presentable, but I like it anyway.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures, and if I haven't said it enough already, this pattern is both fantastic and easy to make, and definitely a lot of fun to wear.  I highly recommend it.