I always loved The Flintstones as a kid. So you can tell instantly where I found inspiration for this little en-som. The animations were so simple, yet they invoked amazing creativity in turning everything we knew into prehistoric icons. I was, however, somewhat dismayed (even as a child) that they all wore the same clothes.
Yeah, that’s right…for Betty and Wilma to be so dishy with such dumpy husbands, I never understood why they didn’t glam them up just a bit more.
Oh sure, they had their moments – but in such a fun age of 60s fashion and the sarcasm played on the show, you would think they would push it just a little bit more…
I started this from a fabric I’ve had for quite sometime. I’ve always wanted to use it – a stretch leopard velvet. I bought it because of its sheen and scale of pattern, and it was a nicer fabric than your everyday, run-of-the-mill velour. It had a surface hand of panne velvet, but a knit backing for added stretch. Now, you may recall the draping from Bijou – and that generated a ubiquitous pattern to move forth with stretchy materials:
I cut the pattern with an extended skirt to check for the scale and drape – just to see how much it would stretch, and if I wanted to change the neckline and armscyes:
The idea that came to mind was a woven mesh of beads at the center front, and having bought some amazing stone beads for use on Madison (which were substituted for gold beads instead), I had a perfect ‘Bedrock‘ combination.
After installing the back zipper and assembling the pieces, I slashed the full center front, fully lined the gown with mesh tricot, and roughly basted the center front opening in the shape that I wanted.
The asymmetrical ‘slash’ appears more exaggerated in the basted version above more so than the cleaner effect of the stones you see below:
After the stones were added, this cascade of a dry river bed took effect, and would serve as the basis for my continued frippery later. As I always love to do, I post work-in-progress shots to Instagram (which re-post to my personal Facebook page so my friends and family can follow along). Instagram is a great way for me to show what I’m doing between blog posts – so you should follow me there if you want to see my most current project. But a funny thing usually happens when the images get to Facebook – the commentary. Starting with this image:
Now you must understand – I love getting feedback – sometimes others’ minds are in a different place than mind, so a little openness is a good thing for an artist. But I am also in a bit of a quandary how people judge so quickly without knowing where I’m taking it next. I’ve resolved the whole ‘like‘ v. ‘comment‘ thing on Facebook – ‘like‘ is a good way to let your friends know you saw something when you don’t have time to leave a comment. But I seldom understand why someone would leave a comment that isn’t complimentary – why just not say anything at all – after all, isn’t that what ‘like‘ is all about?
No…not necessarily so. A friend explained to me that critical comments come from people who typically do call themselves your friend…and usually those who know you have a sense of humor. These are people who understand that it’s not meant as a personal dig, but one I might want to hear. Yeah…might.
Actually…I might want to try and not take things so personally. Because when I posted this, I got a wee bit annoyed:
I’d been playing with a cape pattern for another project – this made in a fabulous sandblast raw silk shot with gold Lurex threads – I tried it on my model (I switched to Silkstone Babs to check fit, and for a more rigid body needed for the next step). “Interesting, but way to formal for a gown like this,” my mother told me. And sure enough, I had folks who didn’t get it. Well, you don’t have to get it – I do. But in the end, I find comments like these more annoying because they are true. You heard me…oui, c’est vrai.
And that’s the true core of it – I can’t always handle the truth – I want to think in my own mind that I don’t need commentary, that I won’t listen to it – and that this is my vision, and anyone who doesn’t like it can just go straight to hell. But after a few world-class Tommy-fits, a fine session of championship pouting, and taking it all out on the internet – I came to realize that it was true, and the opinion is offered because they care.
Now there will be times where I just don’t agree…and that’s probably when you will hear little to nothing from me. I know when I’m right – but I don’t always know when I am not right. You may think that doesn’t make sense…but for a true Libra, it hits the target and splits the arrow…right, Merida?
Anyhoo…so the cape was removed to another project that I’m sure will be just as infinitely fabulous…
As I was saying…it was time to proceed with the beading. The stone beads were the ‘river bed‘, so-to-speak – and I wanted to create a three-dimensional effect that not only contrasted with the velvet texture, but was also cohesive with the leopard pattern. I double-checked my lining with the woven beading at the front for remains of the white basting threads which needed removal:
And started the new beading pattern:
Gradually decreasing the length of the tassels, until the center waist became tapered:
With a mosaic effect at the bustline, an optical illusion of texture and color sprang forth:
But because the cape didn’t quite work with this, it still needed some draping accessory to make it an ensemble – something that would allow dramatic posing, while picking up the drape of the skirt:
Using the same stretch velvet print, I cut a lining strip of Gianfranco Ferré silk jaquard – and created an uber-extended stole with matching beaded corners. In fact, it was a fabric I bought 20 years ago in London and used to make a waistcoat/bowtie set for our Navy Office Christmas Party…
And so my Bedrock Couture was complete, but I wasn’t loving the name ‘Bedrock‘ – I also thought of Primeval, Sauvage, Spice and Leo as names…but it was Feline, on which I settled. Leopard prints always make for a good fitted feline fantasy, yes? Who says fashion can’t have a sense of humor?
And thus, I am thrilled to present FELINE – a one-of-a-kind evening ensemble for 12inch Poppy Parker, Victoire Roux and Silkstone Barbie – I also made a beaded necklace to go with the neckline dressing – and absconded some earrings from another lady to create a whole look. This outfit is for sale on my Sales Page – Click here if you are interested in purchasing it. And now, I leave you with the big camera shoot of Poppy and ‘Kitty’…enjoy, and have a gay ol’ time!