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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Butterfly Punk Collection

Check out my etsy shop,

This spring I was asked to be a part of a fashion show in Fayetteville, AR, put on by Ozark Couture. The theme of the show was "Nature as Muse", and was part of the "Garden as Muse" themed Artosphere during May at the Walton Arts Center. The runway show was to take place in the lovely Rosen Memorial Rose Garden behind the WAC.

I started thinking about finding a sub-theme for my collection- what about nature inspired me most? I considered several themes including birds, animals- specifically predators, wind, water, and plants. At the time my baby daughter was about 9 months old and starting to want to explore the world, including the outdoors, so that may be why I began to think about my own first experiences with nature as a small child, as a possible theme. My memories of spending time outdoors as a child mostly centers around our sprawling country garden where I spent many happy hours picking flowers, turning over rocks looking for snakes and lizards, and hiding behind the forsythia bush. I loved to pick off just the heads of the most beautiful flowers, and turn them upside down so that they looked like ladies in dresses. The first flowers of the year were those hopeful harbingers of spring, the delicate crocuses that popped up in the stone footpath- yellow, purple, cream, and a few white and purple striped. Then later there would be red and yellow tulips, purple and white irises and deep purple dutch irises, sweet William, creeping phlox with pale blue and purple star-shaped flowers, and a dozen different varieties of daffodil. There were peony bushes, hot pink peonies, that smelled so sweet and always were covered in ants, stealing their sweet nectar. And last but not least, the wild white and blue violets and renegade grape hyacinths that had sneaked past the rock borders of the garden and into the yard, yearning for freedom.

Right away I began to get dress ideas. The first design I came up with was the Butterfly Dress. It would be made by piecing together strips of black and colored silks for a butterfly wing effect, with the textures magnified as through a child's eyes. I also incorporated some upcycled slips into the piecework. I hand-dyed the silks and the slips for this dress. I left it unlined so it would be light and breezy and glows when the sun shines through it.

Find it on etsy- Silk Butterfly Dress

The next dress that I designed was the Spring Fling dress, which would feature an appliqued border around the bottom of the dress which would include all the flowers from my childhood garden. For the appliqued flowers I used the silk scraps left over from the other dresses in this collection. The dress itself is off-white silk noil (aka raw silk) with a periwinkle blue silk charmeuse ribbon tie. The dress is fully lined with white china silk.

I designed the Rose Garden dress as a way to incorporate deconstructed lingerie, and also nuno felting, into my collection. I decided how I wanted to construct the skirt- an over-skirt of silk chiffon with nuno-felted roses, over a silk skirt of a contrasting color. I went over a few color schemes in my mind but chose the chartreuse with pink as it seemed really fresh and lively, like the bright green buds of new things growing in springtime. The contrast of the pink and the green is really playful and fun. Gray seemed like a good choice for the over-skirt so there wouldn't be too many colors competing. I hand-dyed the silks and the slips for this dress.Find it on etsy- Rose Garden Dress

The Rainy Day Dress began with the fabric. I had been hanging onto this gorgeous vintage blue silk organza with chenille X's for several years. But as I designed the dress it took on enormous meaning to me. I wanted to make a full over-skirt reminiscent of rain coming off of an umbrella, but with a slimmer dark blue skirt underneath. I began to dwell on that feeling of a September rainstorm, when the magic of summer is over.... and the rain washes away the summer heat and some of the joy as well. There is a melancholy there but there is also a strength.

The last dress was sort of a wild card, I hadn't made up my mind completely. I thought I was making a purple blouse with an asymmetrical hem that would go over a pair of stem-like green silk pants. At the last minute I changed my mind- I kept the asymmetrical hem but changed the whole concept and made a really fun ruffly purple mini dress with an abstract flower sewed to the bodice. I did some nuno-felting on the "petals" of the flower as an unconventional method of gathering the ruffles.
Find it on etsy- Purple Silk Fusion Dress

Well, not everything in life goes perfectly, and the day of the show NW Arkansas was hit with some torrential rainstorms. So the show was moved inside of the Walton Arts Center instead, *sigh*. It was lovely but not quite the same. However I really enjoyed creating these dresses, and it gave me a tremendous boost of confidence about showing my work to people. Check out my website, to see more of my work.

See photos of the fashion show on my facebook fan page- Ozark Couture Spring 2011 Fashion Show

See more photos of my spring collection on my facebook page- Butterfly Punk Collection

Visit my facebook page- Deconstructika by Rosie Rose on Facebook

See more work by my photographer Amber Herrera of Framed by Amber photography- Framed by Amber on Facebook