So this was so full of so many great ideas I thought I would start with the classic first and there was a lot of it!
So each of these had their own classic bent, but mostly they are timeless. Even though they may seem like they are trendy or something new, that doesn’t preclude it from being timeless, and that’s the huge takeaway from all these dresses. Some have ruffles, some are sleek columns, some are couture extravaganzas (by far Charlize Theron in her Dior by Clare Waight Keller wins the prize here). This is a house and designer to watch. What she’s turned out some pretty spectacular things in the last couple of years, and could be one of the primo designers of the decade of the 20s. And that dear friends are the reason I love the red carpet….to discover new talent and discover new designers to watch. Now, I can’t, won’t and wouldn’t even try to copy that black bombshell gown. It’s way too complicated (unless I had a client who wanted me to and is happy to do that), but it is a classic bombshell gown with drapes and curves that made it look like Ms. Theron slipped this on and dropped a drape here or there just willy-nilly and everything fell in the exact right space. That’s what couture is supposed to look like – like natural fall of the fabric.
But there are some that stood out.
This Armani Privé is the master at his best – classic, timeless and flawlessly executed. This one-shoulder beauty is like Armani took a piece of paper and angled it perfectly then put a strap at exactly the right place for balance (and comfort) then put beading on it matching the gorgeous seam in front to complete the design. If we take this apart, using the Elements and Principles of Design, this is using the element of line with the principle of alignment, repetition, and proximity. Now that I’ve said that you can see it. The designer didn’t have to use any other element because he used that one element with three different principles and that’s enough – more would be gaudy or over-kill. That’s something else a master artist knows – when to quit, and sometimes that’s more than enough to know!
Now we all don’t need a ball gown, but this has tons of ideas on how to angle line in a garment – with one side at a gentle angle down, while another shoulder is almost straight up and down. Taking the lesson from the master designer here, we can use this same angle on one of our TNT patterns. Say you have a knit top TNT pattern – it has a few seams (probably side, maybe back no front seam) and you want to vary it. Try using this arrangement of lines to give you a great start on working on how to divide the pieces for a variation on the pattern.
Suddenly you have a completely new look courtesy of a look from a gown on the red carpet. THIS is what I love about watching the red carpet.
Let’s take another one.
Olivia Colman is not this svelte nor is she fat by any stretch of the imagination.
But it’s amazing how thin she looks in this blue number from the Oscars.
It’s all in the blocking on this gown and it’s masterful and it’s something we can all learn from. Again taking the simple top and blocking it out much the same way this is blocked out we can achieve the same slimming look that Ms. Colman has here.
From the simple top on the left to the blocked version on the right where I’ve drawn a line through the bust point so that we can also include a handy-dandy little bust dart in the top part of the curve of the side inset piece to not only give us the visual illusion of being thinner but also have a fitting device hidden in the seam. As you can see the version on the right looks much thinner. This is a common tool used by a lot of designers and again we’re using the principle of alignment with the elements of line and shape to give the illusion of being thinner. When you know about the Elements and Principles of Design, it does help to identify why this works. We know it works but may not know why, and knowing the why helps us understand these principles so that we can use them again, recognize them when we see them (in pattern designs particularly) and when something looks large, bulky or simply like the line of the garment isn’t working, we can use something like this to slim it down.
OK – this is another favorite on the runway. So we’re entering into a new phase of fashion (finally after 30 years of Grunge, enough is enough!) But how do we maintain all the toughness, empowerment and strength that the fashion has allowed for females and yet turn pretty and feminine? That’s a bit of a struggle but not impossible, but one sure way is the dress-up hoodie.
The hoodie really has an illustrious history from the monks of medieval times to being manufacturer for construction workers of the 1930s to the athletic hoodie for working out in cold weather (a la Rocky movie fame) and the last transformation from the Hip-Hop culture who made into a badass sort of garment. In much the same way that the leather jacket that was indicative of motorcycle gangs in the 1950s change into the leather jacket that we all know and love today, the hoodie is going to undergo the same change, and a great way to start is with a little bling as showed off above on the red carpet. Now, this is an extreme version on the runway – after all, no one would wear a formal hoodie, but this is how fashion transformation works – it’s very obvious, ultra-exaggerated and over-the-top look almost always, and after it settles down it looks something like this!
You don’t need to go overboard on this, but again this is my TNT knit top (see the stripes above – same pattern) and I simply put a hoodie on the neckline instead of a collar and added a cool zipper pull from Etsy. Voilá, you have a dressed up hoodie – completely new looking, perfect for errands or maybe something just a little more dressed up than a regular hoodie, and just as edgy, just as empowered and just as strong as before – only dressed-up and a lot more feminine!!!
Don’t you just love fashion when it changes?!
Winner, winner, chicken dinner – So my winners for the evening were
All in all, it was a fabulous night for fashion and design ideas. There were some mistakes and some who purposely look ridiculous or ugly for the sole purpose of being recognized. That sort of thing goes nowhere and it’s not something you have to do. Like real life, it does quickly while there are dresses that will last forever, and there were a lot of those this year.
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