Monday, May 31, 2010

Dear Kate, Stevie & ? (Dress 101)

Dearest Kate, Stevie and ?
You were that hospital for a good three days... Wow. Congrats to a new little family.
So to Alice, or Olive, or the surprise out-of-left-field name they might pick for you.
Welcome little bean sprout!
(White silk stretched on solid thick white crepe, (switching to white elastic material on the neckpiece) with painted ink, and a leather tongue holding in the neckpiece.)
All my love,
Cousin IP
(Yeah. I'm evil. Sorry.)

Dearest Pina Bauch (Dress Made 1)

Dearest Pina Bauch,
This dress was damn HARD. I've never designed and then made a dress from scratch- i'm not very happy with how it came out, but i'm just relieved it came out on time in one piece. It's really the wrong week to be making a dress- i'm stressed as hell and today has NOT been a good day, but knowing I'm carrying a product of my design in my bag is a pretty awesome feeling.
I started making the dress at about 3pm ( I think) it really did not work, and when I realised that the fabric did not stretch as much as I thought it did, and the quick-fix-remedy I tried did not work, I chucked a MASSIVE tear-fit,  drank a glass of concrete (as they say), toughened the f*** up, and started again. Bloody hell. But I managed to salvage the skirt from the old dress for the new sleeves, and even though my machine freaked out towards the end the new dress was done by 11pm. 
It fits like a hero (losing a kilo or two definately would not hurt either) as long as you don't look at the stitching on the inside. Nothing is worse than tension troubles in a machine.
These photos are even worse than the product, I'm just proving I made it, and I'll post proper photos later.
Image 1: just a plain shot of the dress hanging on my purple door. (awful, I know. I picked the colours for my room when I was 13!)
Image 2: Stretched out the sleeve so you can see the shape of it. If you look closely you can see the elastic straps.
All my love,
(And exhaustion)

Dear Jorge (Dress 100)

Dearest Jorge,
I like you.
You're nice.
Translation: thanks for keeping me happy and/or sane. You're amazingly patient, especially when I just have to stay up that extra ten minutes to post the blog, or I have to turn the really bright light on at some ungodly hour to take the photo of the design (It's easier to take a photo of the book than to scan it. also: faster.) or when I suddenly, in the middle of my sentence and for no particular reason have to get the book and scribble an idea down. You're patient, and lovely, and pretty darn sweet, so your dress gets a title and everything:
A meditation on Art Deco (or why I can't design another dress after the aesthetic of Bioshock II)
All my love, love, love,
P.S. I made the Pina Bausch dress today. It's not perfect... Hell it's not even very good, but it's the first dresss i've ever designed and made from scratch, and I'm just glad I managed to make it on time. I'll post photos etc. tomorrow. Goodnight all!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dear Patternmakers (Dress 99)

Dear Patternmakers,
You manage to design gorgeous things, and then design the patternsheets to be equally lovely!
There is a shop down my street that I always peek through the blinds at- they design and cut patterns. The women that work there come into my work, and they're so kind. They're the ones that come in with the payment for their bills already organised into the envalopes, and correct change for everything, they're neat and organised and really sweet.
This dress would be pieced along the dotted lines, and then stitched over the seam.
All my love,

Dear Marylin, (Dress 98)

Dear Marylin (and others so endowed),
You actually weren't that busty. Really... I did an assignment on Gender recently, in the artwork of an artist who photographs himself in the guise of other famous photographs, or paintings- he's really interesting, but after having seen his version of a photo of you, the original was surprisingly meek-chested (NB: both contain nudity). Anyhow, what with reading how to lose friends and alienate people I was thinking about old hollywood and the pictures my boyfriend has in his room- Marlon Brando, Audrey Hepburn, Sofia Loren, and dear ol' Marylin. and therefore: a dress for the busty. (even if she wasn't really.) Dress in black and white cotton, with a big bow at the back of the 'belt' section.
All my love,

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dearest Irit (Dress 97)

Dearest Irit,
You are adorably frightened of ferris wheels.
You are also my aunt. There may or may not be pictures of six-year-old-ip holding your hand and smiling as you scream your lungs out at Luna Park....
I ought to toddle off to bed, but just a quick update:
Onto book 4 of the 365series.
It looks like there will be 12, maybe 13? depends on how many 10dress penalties I have to do. So exciting to line them up like this! It really looks possible.
All my love,

Dear Ikea (Dress 96)

Dearest Ikea,
I've never actually been to an Ikea store- as much as I lust after the catalogues, I'm never sure my bank balance could take it. I've bought a few things second hand to realise they were Ikea, among them the FÄRM vase...
I've always loved the lines on this, and i'd love to replicate them in a dress- generous pleats in heavy linen.
I'm thinking of re-doing the signature, it's too big and clunky, so look out for something new- same design, but smaller and sleeker
(Also: apologies for posting a day late: 3,000 word essay meant the dress was designed, but not inked or coloured.)
All my love

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dear Yoska (Dress 95)

Dear Yoska,
You saw my wallet on the train- sitting on the seat, long after I'd up and left.
You googled my surname, and called my parents. And less than 8 hours after i'd lost it- I had it back in my hands. Relief unparrallelled!
I sat outside your apartment imagining what you'd look like- we'd exchanged a fair few textmessages and I wondered who this kindly soul would look like. Turns out you look like a very young slightly frightened male version of my friend Zahra- and you're a student pilot, which makes the socially responsible good samaritan thing make a little more sense. Honestly I expected to have my identity stolen or something- not have it returned with embarrassment at my thanks.
So in honour of those badges trainee pilots wear (although I think any pilot wears this one)
And in thanks to all kind strangers,
(Printed cotton for the dress, structured metallic-blue-grey for the 'badge' with a space for a brooch in the centre.)
All my love,

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

IP in the paper!

Dearest Lot's Wife,
You (the student paper at my university) were in serious need of some content for the creative writing, and since the lovely Flo is running that ship, she asked me if i'd be interested.
Hells yeah.
Hurrah for Lot's Wife!
All my love,

Dear After (Dress 94)

Dearest After,
What a lovely shop- a pity I couldn't afford to stay much longer, I had to go home and do homework (blarg).

But I did come out with these:

I then proceeded to experiment:
Feathers from my found-rainbow-lorikeet-feathers-stash:
Making springs:
Peacock Feathers:

Parts salvaged from a phone:

Nail-Polished-Painted Springs:

And, magically (I have NO idea how this happened. I mean, I meant to make something swirly, but this is very Wizard-of-Oz tornadoesque.)

So, from the springs came a 'lightbulb' dress:

Sorry for the late post,
(I'm not going to post the signature, because this post is so picture heavy,)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dear Nicola (Dress 93)

Dearest Nicola,
I'm really very fond of you, so it's strange that I really only see you once a year (at Sally's birthday). You study silversmithing, so I was thinking about how you could incorporate silver into a dress.
This dress is really rather awfully drawn, so my computer being an uploadbitch is a rather awesome coincidence. I'll post it as soon as it's fixed.
The idea was, two silver 'clips' made from old singer sewing machine plates (see here for an incredible archive of singer 'plates') to hold a cowl neck together, and hold about three inches of hem into a mirror of the neckline.
All my love,

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dear Sally (Dress 92)

Dear Sally,
Yesterday was awesome, we went out for your birthday to possibly the lamest burlesque bar ever (more las vegas showgirls than burlesque dancing- two of the three girls were painfully thin, and apart from the high kicks, there weren't any impressive dance moves.) but the clothes on the pseudoindie crowd there were an awesome source of designideas!
Happy birthday darling, you're damn gorgeous,
All my love,

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dear Sean (Dress 91)

Dear Sean, I remember once we were talking in the bookshop (where we both work) and you were saying, in that almost unbelievable accent 'ah cant understand how the maek yer study Beckett in school. Yer children fer god's sake- what the hell do you know?'
And i think you're almost entirely right!
(Which did not make this evening, centre row seats less than 10m from the stage any less magnificent.)
Thank Beckett (and my boyfriend) for a wonderful night,
(Rope around the waist, rope 'piping' on the top, which is twisted into a 'noose knot' and then 'splits' into the shoulder. Cotton and a black applique bowler on the bottom.) 
All my love,

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dear Beautiful Red-Head Girls, (Dress 90)

Dear Beautiful Red-Headed Girls,
You're some of the most gorgeous specimens of female loveliness walking the earth. There's something about cascading russet hair, next to that beautiful milky skin that is the designer's dream: think Lily Cole or the (admittedly bottle-red) Christina Hendriks. (Also: My best friend and fellow sewingmachinemistress Alice.)
For those lovely lasses also blessed with the equally rare and gorgeous genetic trait for green eyes, there's this:
Lightweight green polyesters, twisted and under-pieced together, zip on the left side.
All my love,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dear Red Fox (Dress 89)

Dear Red Fox,
A friend of the family (an artist, painter, sculptor, and CFA volunteer) used to have the nickname 'Kenny the Fox', his favourite subject for oil paintings. I stayed at their house one night at their young daughters' insistance, a lovely home in the mountains with a wood fire, and I just spent the night staring at this painting of a fox chasing his tail. I'd love to do this image I have (but cannot upload b/c of size problems) of a fox chasing a mouse, with the body of the fox slinking from the top of the right shoulder to the waist. Painted in oil paint, and photographically printed on.
All my love,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dear Wright Bros. (Dress 88)

Dear Wright Bros.
I had a lapel pin of an early model plane, I'm not sure where it went, but should I find it i'll post a picture.
There is nothing lovelier than a pure blue sky covered in plane scribblings,
All my love,

Dear Tramdrivarr. (Dress 87)

Dear TramDrivarr,
I get that it's pretty crappy being the captain of a ship anchored to rails, but that doesn't mean you need to ring the bell like a swearing sailor (metaphors ahoy!) Your passencaptives don't enjoy it any more than the silly driver who caused you wrath.
However, whichever one of you caused me to miss today's tram only to catch one with an inspirational sailor-jacket on it was somehow awesome.
(Crepe sleeves, cotton body, tights come as part of the outfit, printed with an anchor and sea life -which must include at least one octopus, and prefferably also seals-)
All my love,

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dear Honeybee (Dress 86)

Dear Honeybee, You're looking a bit peaky, I'm worried about you- but the sweet russian man who sold me a half kilo of the sexyest honeycomb you've ever seen seemed pretty chilled, so i won't sweat it.
Take care, ok?
All my love,

Dear TINHamlet (Dress 85)

Dear This Is Not Hamlet, What an experiance. A show I really enjoyed being a part of, making something beautiful with gorgeous people of amazing skill and sweetness.
In memory of Yorick, the wax skull Tess (Horatio) brought in, who in the process lost his teeth and got a great many dints:

All my love,

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dear Bioshock II (Dress 84)

Dearest Bioshock II,
Goddamn. Nice design.
The vending machines with the clowns are probably responsible for this little offering. Also: exhaustion.

All my love,

Dear 13/5/10 (Dresses 74-83)

Dear 13/5/2010,
You were too much for me. I didn't manage to do my dress, so I designed 10 today as penance,
We good now?
Stencils of birds with grey 'shadow' stencils underneath.

Structured heavy silk with appliqued ribbon 'clock'

Dyed black cotton with 'blocked' sections

Either lines on the dress, or the paths on which fringing follows

Black diamonds are satin, white is matte.

Elastic with corsetry style reinforcement. The 'garter' sections have a buckle, as does the neck buckle

My favourite of today's inventions- a la the Hermes shorts, 'I love' is spelt in belt loops, and on the back of the dress there are buttons that also serve as dotpoints. The dress comes with a letter stencil and fabric paint.

Top section in strong upholstry fabric, same colour as the base section, done in many layers of crepe. (the lines represent folds in the crepe)

Soft Polyester held on with elastic, heavier weight trousers, with crepe sides.

Cotton with buttons and an elastic waist-band-area

All my love