photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/aris1983/15285382495/”>Aris.Sanchez</a&gt; via <a

Oof. I think I might have a hangover. From my last post, that is. Oh, it was all giddiness and excitement at the time: “Heyyyy – I have a gre’t idea! I think ah’ll come out of the closet! Yeah, yeah – ever’one’ll luurve it. Hey, watch this ever’body – watch me! Ah’m gonna tell the whole worl’ ah’m a ARTIST. Yep. Tha’s a gre’t idea all right.”

Um. Did I really do that? Someone help me out here. I really did? Oh dear. Now what?

Well, okay. Fine. I’m just going to brazen it out. I’m going to keep on exposing myself in public and put my work on display. Yep. Another great idea all right . . .

Oh, what the hell — here I go – one of my favorite pieces from the past: The Kinetic Dress!

photo 3

This one came from a period when I was very much focused on cocktail dresses and eveningwear. I was particularly in love with beads and beading. I had experimented with surface beading and loved the way beads enhance a garment’s complexity. Smooth beads create texture and depth and richness. Faceted beads create excitement and dimension. Every time the wearer moves they reflect light in a new way. Beading allows a garment to interact with its environment. In this dress I was exploring that idea.

I used a variety of beads on this dress. I edged the top of the bodice with evenly spaced smooth round black beads.

photo 2c

I edged the seamlines with a combination of round black beads and iridescent faceted beads.

photo 1b

And I scattered tiny clear beads and clear sequins nearby.

photo 1a

Each type of bead reflects light in a different way. Every time the dress’s position changes, the reflections change based on both the angle of the light and the physical structure of the beads.

But what I really wanted to do was liberate the beads to move on their own. So I suspended strings of them from anchor points across the front of the dress. I used both round and faceted beads for the strings. Now the beads could swing and move and shift every time the wearer of the dress moved or even took a breath.

photo 2

photo 1

photo 2b

I also used the design of the dress and the choice of fabrics to enhance the sense of movement. The skirt is a half-circle. The stripes naturally fall into various vertical and diagonal orientations. When the wearer walks or shifts her position, the movements of her hips and legs cause the relationships of the stripes and patterns to constantly change. If there are air currents in the room, they may even further augment the effect by catching and moving the airy chiffon fabric.

photo 3a

I also placed the narrow stripes of the bodice at different angles.

photo 2

photo 1d

I never wore this dress. I made it more or less to my own size, but I was more focused on the design than I was on fitting, and I wasn’t making it for any particular occasion. It was just something that was in my head. I did try it on, but it was terribly unflattering to my er, generous curves. It did once walk a runway, though – many years ago I showed a collection at Virginia Fashion Week. (Why oh why didn’t I document that better? I don’t even remember what year that was!) I don’t have a picture from the front, but didn’t it look terrific from the back on the tall, leggy, slender young beauty who modeled it?