Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Brink Magazine Presents Vitamin Water Zero Uncapped

photo by Ben Stitzer
On September 30th I was part of the Brink/Vitamin Water Zero runway show in Orlando, FL.  I made six ready to wear looks inspired by a Vitamin Water Zero color palette.  I initially thought to do Vitamin Water Zero "Drive" (blue/orange) but after a little research I chose "Glow" (turquoise/pink) because it promotes healthy skin.  I also found a larger availability of fabrics in the Glow color palette.

Here's one of my sketches for the collection:

photo by Ben Stitzer

I feel this collection is my best so far.  As a selected designer I won a flip cam to document my progress, a six month supply of vitamin water to get me inspired to work on the collection and $400 to make six looks.  Having a budget gave me some economic freedom and I was able to work with materials and use techniques I hadn't been able to do so far.

Here are the six pieces I did for the show:

photo by Jessica Castro
You might notice the light dress worn by Raven (blond model) is a dress that's been featured in my Etsy store for a few months.  This is because I brought it along as a backup dress.  And I am so glad I did because things went very wrong in the hour leading up to the show.  
I made another blog post recently on how I'd been having a hard time with Coats and Clark zippers.  I've had a few of them break on me and at this point I'm really blaming it on the quality of the zippers over bad luck since it's too many zippers...I'm at five this month.  About an hour before the show one of the zippers for one of the most time consuming dresses I've ever made broke!  I really tried to save the zipper but I didn't bring a sewing machine with me (bad idea) and hand sewing it was taking too long.  

Here's me trying to fix the zipper:

Picture by my friend Frannie

Once I realized this zipper was not going to be fixed I scrapped the dress and fit the Rococo dress for Raven.  It worked out well since I had made a beaded cape which didn't go with anything else.  I think the cape and dress looked amazing together.

photo by Ben Stitzer
Photo by Julia Arielle Cox

The first dress I made for the collection was the teal blue and pink sequined dress.  This was the simplest of all the dresses but the fabric was around $50/yd so I had to be super careful making it.  It's a simple strapless dress with a sweetheart bust line and a gathered dirndle skirt.  It is fully lined and interlined to keep it's form.  This might have been the most eye catching dress because the sequins made the whole dress sparkle.  It was beautiful!

photo by Jessica Castro
The next dress in my collection is a pink sweet sixteen style dress.  I've been making tons of party dresses lately and I really wanted to include something that would work well for a young crowd.  This dress is made of a large vintage scarf I picked up while antiquing a few months ago.  When I finished making the dress I realized there were barely any scraps...I had just enough for this dress.  I also added a cubic Zirconia band around the waist and a small Zirconia cabochon at the center front of the band to give the dress a little sparkle.  The scarf fabric was a silk/cotton blend so it gave the dress a really cute drape.  I lined it in a very lightweight 100% cotton broadcloth fabric.

Photo by Jessica Castro
The next dress in the collection is my absolute favorite dress ever!  I am probably keeping the sample for myself and plan to offer it in both Magenta and Emerald.  This is a complicated dress!  The pattern itself is simple - but it's made of 100% silk chiffon and 100% silk lining.  All of the fabric had to be pre-washed and flat dried - then ironed.  The dress was then sewn using silk thread.  After sewing I had to hand dye the dress to get an Ombre effect.  After dying I had to wash it to get rid of any excess dye.  Once I did this I had to re-iron/steam and finally I had to hand sew every single paillette around the neckline, arms and hem.  It took about 20 hours to make!  But I loved the result and got so many compliments. 

Photo by Jessica Castro

photo by Jessica Castro

I also wanted to include a skirt/top/jacket combo.  I made the skirt with crushed velvet and added front pockets.  The top is actually made with sheer upholstery fabric...looking back I don't know how excited I am about the top but I loved the skirt and jacket - I made about 3 different tops for this look and they were all pink except for this one - I really liked this fabric because it had small hints of pink in the print.  The jacket is made of silk satin, with silk lining and I hand sewed paillettes all over - this jacket was incredibly time consuming and I feel like I should have just made a cape instead of a jacket since it would have had the same effect but taken less time to make.  I was really lucky to have Rain Miller model this outfit - she was perfect for it.  I really love this picture Jessica Castro took of the outfit:

picture by Jessica Castro

The final dress in the collection is one of my favorite dresses ever!  I actually used the top of a vintage pattern I found and made a few modifications.  I then added a long gathered full length skirt.  This dress was made with vintage fabric I bought on Etsy!  The best part is that if fit the model really well - I didn't have to change the length of the dress - which I originally thought I'd made about 6" too long!
This dress is one of a kind since I can't get any more fabric to make more - but I plan on re-making it as a wedding dress, with silk chiffon, english lace and hand made chiffon flowers!

Overall I was very happy with the collection.  I meant to take photos so I could list the dresses on Etsy but I just didn't have time.  I have a photo shoot scheduled this weekend with model Sarah Wallace and will be available next week.  I'm already working on a new collection of wedding dresses that I will have available in early January.

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