Sunday, November 24, 2013

Designed by Me, Made by Mom

Shoulder detail of a dress in silk crepe de chine that I designed and my mom made. Shown inside out to show stitching detail.   
The top half of the dress.  
Inside out detail of the pocket of the dress.   
Inside out detail of the hem of the dress.  
Inside out detail of the neck and belt.
The whole dress, right side out.  I was a lot thinner back in the day, LOL!
This is a copy of a Dior suit that my mom made.  It's in oatmeal wool flannel.  Inside out detail of jacket, to show stitching.  
Detail of lining of jacket, with buttons.  
Detail of lining of sleeve. 
Detail of lining and neckline.   
The skirt of the suit, inside out, to show stitching detail.  The skirt had a side button closure.  
Detail of button closure on skirt. 
The top of the skirt, right side out, showing pleats.  
The skirt.   
The jacket, buttons fastened. 
The whole suit.
These are some of the examples of the outfits I still have that my mom and I created together.  The dress at the top in green silk de chine was my own design.  I was very fond of the Tales of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, and I wanted the dress to have a medieval tunic style, similar to what knights wore over their chain mail suits for formal occasions when they weren't in combat.  I think I was somewhere between 15 and 17, not sure when I wore it.  My mother did a beautiful realization of that design, I think.  

The white suit was based on a Christian Dior design, maybe from 1979 or 1980.  I used to wear it to church and to classical music concerts.  It wasn't suitable for performing; back in the day (maybe still) classical musicians were required to dress in black and whites: white blouse and long black skirt for women, and black suit, black tie and white shirt for men.  Shoes had to be black as well.  

I don't think I ever mentioned that I played violin for ten years, did I?  From the ages of 10-20, I played violin.  I'm going to toot my own horn, here:  I played with the New York Philharmonic, when I was with the All-City High School Orchestra, and I played with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy, when I was studying at the New York State Summer School of the Arts, School of Orchestral Studies.  I also played with the New York Youth Symphony, and we played weekly concerts on Sunday afternoons at Carnegie Hall during our season.  We also did a tour during the summer of 1980 of the Tri-State area.  I also played some solo gigs, and with other orchestras.  I stopped playing in 1981, due to undiagnosed bipolar disorder.  My musical training has stood me in good stead through the years, though, because in my current life, I'm often required to do public speaking, and though I get nervous, I've learned to control the fight-or-flight response, so I (usually!) don't flee in terror.  Of course, music still continues to give me great joy.  

Well, that was a segue from fashion!  I photographed the garments from inside-out to show the expert tailoring and workmanship that went into my mother's sewing.  It's not only the outer garment that looks great, but the construction is perfection, as well.  You can't get that quality of work in mass-produced garments.  I have to say I was spoiled growing up, because clothes of this quality are simply not found in stores, unless you're buying from a designer's couture line.  

Now you've seen some of the creations I cooked up with my mom.  Any thoughts?  Please comment!