As you can imagine, this dress really did begin with beautiful fabric. No doubt about it, I needed an excuse to design a dress made out of this fabulously stunning red silk duppioni. It was love at first sight in the fabric store. I mean, who wouldn’t love a fabric that’s red one way and black the other, complete with tasty little slubs and a fantastic light-catching ability?
I began with a normal princess line, but added a few extra seams at the shoulder for interest. Originally I’d planned to leave the dress sleeveless, but it really did want sleeves. So I came up with the perfect ones–they have a little tiny pleat at the top, and twirl up at the bottom into a tiny little ‘rosebud’. Something still was missing, though. The fabric was still beautiful, yes, and the construction was fabulous (my seamstress sewed tiny French seams all through the interior); but the combination didn’t really show the fabric off to its best advantage.
How to show off this fabulous fabric properly was a problem well worth consideration. I started playing around with scraps, stitching them together in irregular, artsy ways, and the garland down the front was born. It’s a very couture look and definitely evokes flowers (although you can just call them artsy and organic shapes if you want to!)
So, here’s the Crimson Bouquet dress. May it remind you and your doll of the magic of flowers all through the long winter!