Monday, February 25, 2013

Dressed to Impress!

I'm not sure whether its my total fascination with the
incredible period attire worn by the cast of Downton Abbey,
or the "oh so chic" fashion paraded on the Red Carpet these
last weeks that have me longing to have a reason to play
 "dress up" myself. 
 Wouldn't all of us ladies love just once to be
draped in something sparkly from Harry Winston?
Or the chance to don a hat like my favorite resident dowager,
Since the likelihood of either one of those happening is quite
 slim for me, I have to fill that impulse in other ways.
One can always count on Pinterest to check out the latest in
fashion trends. But I especially love seeing all of the altered
vintage dress mannequins that show up from time to time. 
They are truly inspirational!  So much in fact, that I just had
to do one for myself.
The first challenge was to find a mannequinn I could afford. 
 I literally drooled over the ones I saw at the Paris flea market
 a couple of years ago. 
 But alas, they were not in my budget~ nor
 would they have fit in my luggage!
Luck was with me however this past fall when I spied one at
a county antique fair.  Madge (thats her name~) probably came
from a department store in the 1950's~ which is considered an
 antique these days by some standards (though certainly not
mine!), and she had seen better days for sure.
However, I recognized a "diamond in the rough" and knew with
a little spackling & duct tape, she could be "Red Carpet"

If only it took that to get me ready these days! Oh well!
With Phase 1 of "project Madge" completed, I could move
quickly to the fun part.  I decoupaged her bust with old
book pages & inferma, and began assembling paper
flowers from coffee filters for her ball gown.
Using an antique hoop skirt from the 1860's
( yes- I know you must have one lying around your house
as well!  Mine was leftover from a project I had
done for Nashville's Cheekwood several years ago~), tulle
and the paper flowers, I was able to construct a fairly decent
bustle skirt.
To complete her ensemble, I wrapped the shoulders in a
vintage fur caplet, added a little bling...and of course,
a crown...
and voila!
Madge was ready for her closeup!

I must take this opportunity to present a few of the dress
 forms that inspired me so. Unfortunately, Madge takes
a backseat to many of these creative beauties...
I can only dream about owning one of these

Love these book pages!


Cher at the Oscars?
This one just knocks me out!

Look closely... this is a Christmas tree!

Must shamelessly copy this idea!


Simply amazing!
And this next one is actually a cake!
This next dress form looks like someone has pilfered
Dame Violet's dressing table!
Oh, to live in an era where dress forms & dressing
tables were a way of life!
But for now, I have my Madge to "dress up" a
corner of my studio.
And, its almost time for her spring wardrobe!
Dame Violet would be proud.