Anatomy of a Vintage Gown: Stories from a Re-creation Artist

As a re-creation artist, I see a vintage gown as a blank canvas of sorts. Re-designing a dress is a bit like architecture--it takes vision.

The initial step was the painstaking process of deconstructing the bodice by removing the hideous "shawl" with its enormous puffed sleeves. The deconstruction revealed the potential for a strapless dress.

Misty the Mannequin is quite small busted and small shoulders, so I added small elastic shoulder straps to keep the gown up while I worked on design ideas.

The primary focus then became the back of the gown with its large bow, tail, and train.

The fascinating discovery was the very nice pink satin underlay, which was hidden under the white overlay. Then work began with converting the white overlay into a bustle to reveal the beautiful pink satin overlay. In order to add more richness and color to the bustled train, I added a gorgeous vintage sequined and beaded lace. The same gorgeous beaded and sequined lace will be used to create some form of elaborate shrug to cover the arms and add dimension to an otherwise very plain and boring bodice.

Below is a full view of the elaborate back bustled train that I'm creating.


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