Monday, January 24, 2011

DIY: Dandy Does Womenswear

Though I often look to it for inspiration, complicated old womenswear really isn't my realm. I find something charming in letting creativity grow within the set confines of menswear, and to be frank, an ease in just breaking the gender-mold and calling it a day.

But my dear sister came to me, asking for help: she expressed a need for something different to wear to her after-prom party. (This was after she had explained the reason behind such seemingly superfluous social event.) I was home and bored to the point that spurs craftiness, and thought I'd make a little project out of this.

So I took one of her favorite shift dresses and had my tailor render it collarless in clean, off-white denim.

I wanted to paint a print on the dress, but God forbid I do one more thing in paint splatters. I was vaguely inspired by Balenciaga Spring 2008's saturated florals in sharp shapes: vivid, graphic, feminine. I thought of experimenting with sponge painting, and drew up a plan.

The dress would be taped off in a V in front and a wide stripe at the back, to allow me to just paint all over it.

Here's what I did:

I taped off the shapes three times over, as tight as I could.

Then I created my painting implements: rounds cut out of dishwashing sponge.

For texture, I shaved off bits from the tops of the sponges. (Please note that the red nails are clearly not mine.)

I then lay on my first layer of color, twisted-on circles of deep purple acrylic paint: sullen, painterly buds. I let my blooms set with a hairdryer before adding another layer over.

Then a bright blue, slightly watered down to let the colors sort of run into each other and blend.

And for foliage to sustain my flowers: a bold grass green twist-sponged all over. I then layered all three colors about two times more for depth.

As a highlight, abstract stamens of pastel yellow applied with the end of a bamboo skewer, randomly dotted around in ones, twos, and threes.

I then (excitedly) peeled off the tape and hung the dress out to dry for about a day.

close-up of the texture on the finished painting-dress

Here it is worn:

vintage sunglasses, DIY handpainted dress, Aldo wedges

her hoof-shoes, a staple of the Brooklyn hipster ilk, and gift from yours truly

scarlet lips and tortoiseshell Persol 0649's

8 comments:

somuchtrouble said...

Great idea! But for me, I think you went a skoosh bit overboard with the layers. I think maybe the first two colors plus the yellow?

But it looks super good so! Whatevs, great job! Inspiring.

Bea said...

very jealous of your sister-i wish I had a brother to make me such cool dresses!

http://www.aestheticsandaudio.blogspot.com/

Brandon said...

Totally disagree with somuchtrouble. You need that that bright green contrast. Lucky girl!

joy said...

Well made sir! You are now one of the most well rounded DIY bloggers I know.

Mat said...

amazing job.....new career a foot? your sister is really pretty

Chanwit said...

wow, that's pretty amazing.

editor of that blog said...

very inspiring project!!! i might apply some of these ideas somewhere, to something, but i LOVED this:

"Though I often look to it for inspiration, complicated old womenswear really isn't my realm. I find something charming in letting creativity grow within the set confines of menswear, and to be frank, an ease in just breaking the gender-mold and calling it a day."

sooooo applies to me. love it!

Winston said...

U r an awesome brother

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