Sunday, April 24, 2011

workin' the catwalk

photo credit briana underdahl

Last weekend, the apparel department at my school held its annual fashion show. It was my first ever fashion show: the first time I ever saw one of my garments walk down a runway. Exciting? I think yes. But I'm getting ahead of myself!

I posted about my design a while back, but of course the real thing turned out a little differently. I ended up using two different weights of silk habotai, painting it with a couple shades of Serasilk dyes. I laid the fabric out on our kitchen table over spring break, got it damp all over, and just kind of went crazy. I threw salt on it for color variation, and used stronger paint in some places.

It turned out exactly as I wanted!

I'd already done two muslin fits of the dress, so once the fabric was done I went ahead started putting together the dress. It wasn't exactly a picnic--I did french seams and went about everything super carefully so it took a long time to make. At 11:30 pm, two days before I had to bring the garment in for to be evaluated for the show, I was trekking along, understitching the neck facing. I was thatclose to being finished. I went to clip my threads, and--disaster struck. The main fabric of the back panel got caught in my shears and I cut a hole in the dress. It was a tiny, 1" v-shaped snip, but it was a hole nonetheless and I couldn't possibly turn it in looking like it did.

I sat and stared at the hole in utter shock, and then looked up at my roommate. We discussed possible options for fixing it--add another cutout? Applique a patch? Embroidery? Replace the panel? And then I set the dress down, went to the bathroom, and started sobbing. I seriously bawled my eyes out. After the countless hours, all the money, all the work... this stupid mistake was going to mess this up! I wouldn't be able to have my dress in the show!

Sure, it was maybe an overreaction. But you pour your entire self into things like this, and when something so awful stops you up, it's kind of heartbreaking. I went and found my dear friend Lindsay, who had serged a hole in her dress just the week before. All hiccup-y, I said, "I just cut a hole in my dress.... and I knew you'd understand." She gave me a huge hug and then looked at me and said, "Addie. You're going to be able to fix it. It's going to be okay."

And she was right, of course.

I made a little heart applique and slipstitched it on top of the hole, and when I brought it in for judging, my professors were none the wiser.

So. The show. It was a lot of work a whirlwind, but so amazing.

This was me & Carissa, keeping tabs on all the models in this big ol' room behind the runway. This meant a lot of down time, so... homework time.

The girls backstage!

Friends, models, and designers! Left to right: Cassie (my model), me, Kym (Lindsay's model), Lindsay (modeling a garment for a senior), Alex, and Sarah (Alex's model). These girls all live on my floor/level and are such dear friends. We had a blast coming out afterward to take photos--we're behind the scenes the rest of the time so it was nice to pretend like us little freshmen had a bit of the spotlight. :)

Me & Cassie!

Cassie took this cute series that shows the dress very nicely.

So, that was the show! It was such a great experience, and I'm already plotting out ideas for next year. My first fashion show, a success!