When I found this dress, it just screamed 1920’s to me! I have had it in my raw materials stash for awhile now, waiting for further inspiration to strike and the right accoutrements to show themselves. On a recent trip to a unique and special fabric store ( www.darrellthomas.com ), I found an amazing cotton fabric that was printed with panels featuring ladies of the 1920’s. There were ten different panels in all before the pattern starts its repeat. The images, colour palette and quality of the fabric all added up to – I have to have some of this….and, I know exactly what I am going to do with it!!!
I knew immediately that the fashions, hats and other accessories that the ladies were wearing in each panel would be perfect for embellishment with beads, sequins and other sparkly bits. I could make them come to life with added detail and texture, not to mention providing unique flair to the garments to which each panel would be appliqued!
The elastic loop for one of the center back button closures was missing when I purchased the dress so I decided to do away with it all together in favour of adding a raw silk bow as a new and much more saucy closure. The second button further down the center back of the dress was changed from plain black plastic to one with a bit of sparkle, which still closes with an elastic loop. I also chose to use another fabulous flea market find, two beaded motifs in shades of muted silver and gold, to accent the back and front of the dress to bring in even more of that jazz era bling to the dress design.
This dress was inspired by Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of The Great Gatsby author, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Dubbed by her husband “the first American flapper, she was renowned for her beauty, fashion and high spirits and was also a novelist and painter. Just putting this dress on, makes you feel feminine, sassy and ready to Charleston the night away at a 1920’s themed wedding or event. Perhaps with even a few feathers in your hair to complete the effect!
Recently, I was invited to and attended a birthday party with a 1980’s theme. We were encouraged to come in costume as our favourite character, person or cultural icon from the 1980’s. Considering that I dressed like her almost every day in the 80s, had three photo albums full of photos, clippings, pins and other memorabilia, bought almost every book ever written about her, possessed all of her music, including 12″ vinyl dance remixes of some songs, tracked down a copy of every movie and concert on vhs and dvd and I could go on – there was only one choice for me…. Yes, The Material Girl herself!
It brought back so many memories and coming of age thoughts to get dressed like this again. I still remember the first time I ever saw her in a video on Much Music. It was for Lucky Star. She looked so different from other people and her style was so fresh and unlike anything I had ever seen before. I also loved the song and how simple the video was, just her and two dancers against an all white background. I said “Who’s that?!?!” aloud and my mother took one look at the tv and in her mind replied, “Oh, no.”. It was the beginning of an infatuation and idolization that, while it has waned somewhat over the past 33 years or so, was to be a very influential force on my own personal style, sense of independence and individuality.
I still wear leggings with skirts, an armful of bangles, head rags and odd and mismatched earrings, not to mention a fierce red lipstick when the mood strikes. Perhaps just not all at once anymore. Imagine my pleasure when fashions from the 80s recently enjoyed a resurrection on the runways and in the pages of fashion magazines. They say everything eventually comes back around in fashion and it was our time I guess, us teenagers of the 80’s.
The party was alot of fun and my costume/look was a huge hit. Little did some of them know, that I didn’t have to look any further than my closet and accessories cache to find all the components. It can be our little secret.
And, Lucky Star is still, and always will be, my favourite song and video from Madonna.