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Archive for the ‘monthly frock’ Category

It has been told that Little Red took cake to her grandmother again…a walk in the woods the beginning

another great red closeup

red with basket in ravine

ravine.... wolf is closer

through the eyes of the wolf. nice wig shot

lone wolf by tree

wolf close up

the wolf is closing in

now we see what red is up to close up

the basket of yummies

I could lick that cake!

the money shot bite that cake!

close up of the pet really great shot

pet the wolf

red naps after the feastThe first edition of Grimms’ tale includes in the ending Little Red Cap going through the woods a second time. This time she recognizes the danger and doesn’t speak to the wolf. She asks her grandmother’s advice. She carries water until a big, big trough is completely full and the wolf is drowned. These paragraphs change Little Red Riding Hood from a victim into a heroine. This Little Red Riding Hood is different form the others who just get eaten and rescued and admonished not to talk to strangers. In the complete Grimms’ folktale, Little Red Cap goes home “safely and merrily” not because the hunter rescues her, but because she has learned to recognize and deal with danger.

Small town frocks wonders if perhaps there is more to that story as well…

Photography: Laura Wilby

Styling/Hair/Headpiece: Avrell Fox

Frock and Wig: Lara Blackman

Makeup: Robin Marie

Red: Nicole

Wolf: Richie

Cake: Epiphany Cakes

Picnic: Croissant Moon

Flowers/Boutonniere: The Green Poppy

Props: Still Eagle, Dear Pony, and stylists own

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This simple but lovely frock was originally made as a sample to be used in a different photo shoot… but after a miscommunication on sizing it wasn’t included… which is probably just as well since it would have likely been damaged on location (a grubby shack). Instead it maintains it’s silk and wool pristine loveliness…

The bodice is cut from silk/wool blend which is my new favourite bridal fabric… light, comfortable, soft, and comfortable for all seasons… think airy pashmina… mmmm! The sleeves are silk chiffon, as are the top layers on the skirt. The entire dress, not including the sleeves, is lined with silk dupion which gives just enough structure to hold the shape without adding bulk. An extra layer of organza helps the skirt flow and stand away from the body.

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I’m writing this on a snowy January morning… I’ve debated calling it the April frock… although it was actually sewn last April… but then this crazy thing called bridal season sort of found it’s way to me in May… and I’ve been sidetracked ever since :)

Without further rambling… here’s the details.

Every once in a while I head on over to ebay and peruse vintage fabrics… not too often… ’cause that could easily get out of hand! But I did find this really lovely vintage silk sari fabric… and well, there was some cash in my paypal acccount and it was done before I had another sip of tea! This sari became the skirt. The bodice is a structured overbust corset made from silk/wool. Silk/wool is pretty much the ultimate fabric in my mind… warmth, luxury, natural… the flowers were crafted from silk chiffon in yummy rose and tangerine and then enveloped in silk organza and hand beaded… a whimsical crinoline in goldenrod tulle adds depth of colour to the skirt and fullness to the silhouette.

The rabbit wig is one of my wool creations that was hand felted and inspired by the clever fifi lapin blog. It’s all kinds of illustration sweetness… check it out!

Find all the details here.

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April Frock

The first of the bridal gowns… I have decided to do the last six gowns for the year as wedding dresses. That will give me a lovely small collection that I could go to market with in the fall… that and I really love working with silk! There is also a certain amount of freedom when you are limited to working in a set colour scheme… it will be a white dress… and after that the skies the limit.

This first one is a simple clean line. A mermaid silhouette with small cap sleeves. I used silk/wool for the bodice which is oh so lovely, warm and light, the ultimate luxury. The flounce at the bottom has three layers of silk… dupion for the lining, organza for body, and chiffon for drape. The sleeves are silk chiffon. I lined the entire dress with dupion silk to help give it body and structure as well as some loveliness to wear next to the skin… I have seen silk dresses with synthetic lining which to me seems horrible… why would you not give the wearer the pleasure of having silk next to the skin…

I have kept extra adornment off of this gown. It’s simple and streamlined… and trimmings can be added to suit the individual… beading, embroidery, flowers, bows… the sky is the limit… or you can let the pattern drafting and workmanship speak for itself.

I was hoping to have some photos this week, but unfortunately the sample did not fit the model that was being used in a different project… so you will have to wait for the smalltownfrocks team to do their magic in a month or so…

…so I’ll take this moment and plant the seed for anyone who would like to contribute to the styling of a bridal shoot to send me an email with the details of what it is you make or do… it would be nice to start a resource list of Kootenay Bridal goodness! Jewelry… Hair… Makeup… Shoes… Flowers… etc.

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March Frock

There are a few things that I really love in a garment… pockets, hand made details, and whimsical linings… this frock has all three. I strayed from my original sketch… which is not unreasonable when working with reLove… you have to go with what works with the fabrics that are available.

The buttons and piping were made from a really sweet indian cotton print that was a much treasured skirt from someone’s summer of love…The halter bodice was made from a cotton blouse that came with the sweet embroidery and pleats… The collar is make from a lace table runner. The corset waist was made from  velvet jeans… one pair was this lovely green that I kept the watch pocket in use, and the back is from a complimentary cinnamon colour… the floral detail featured on the front was lovingly embroidered on cotton by a skilled hand and was formerly part of a pretty doily.
The lining is mauve bemberg rayon and has a wide ruffle of creme eyelet that has been gathered to give volume to the dress’ hemline.

The photo shoot on sunday was a joy and it has taken me a couple of days to sit with the images and try to decide which ones are my favourites… no small task. So here’s as much as I could narrow it down…

Photos: Louis Bockner

Gown: Lara Blackman

Stylist: Avrell Fox

Model: Nicole

Makeup: Tenai Scott

Hair: Avrell Fox

*visit the details page for more information

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The inspiration for the March frock is coming from a few different places. The first is the fabric. I found this set of drapes in a box in a local thrift shop and could not resist the colours. There are four large panels and they are lined with a really nice weight of linen. The fabric has a texture that makes me think of paintings.

The second inspiration is that this dress already has a display home for a month in April at a local hair salon, Bijou. Erin, the owner, likes to feature local designers and artists on her walls and in her beautiful big windows. I was asked by a local illustrator, Marnie Christofferson, if I would like to display one of my gowns in a display that she was working on… um, YES! The theme that I was given was ‘rabbits’. I immediately thought of the fabric I had recently scored that bears a striking resemblance to a spring garden and has a somewhat retro 50’s look about it.

Which brings me to the third inspiration… the 50’s tea length evening gown. I have enough fabric to do a large full skirt, and I love a reason to create undergarments… a full crinoline in this situation. Nipped in waist and swishy skirt {and pockets}… what could be lovelier!

Things can change while I am drafting the pattern, I am toying with the idea of a halter neckline with some sweet covered buttons down the front… but now I think I need to go and find one of those oh so ruffly parasols ;)

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February 2011 Frock

Often in clothing design it starts with an idea or an objective… there are needs that have to be filled, such as a skirt of a certain length, a blouse in a specific colour, that sort of thing. In larger companies there are people who’s sole job is to source fabric, they are given a budget and specifications and they scour the global marketplace to make it happen at the best price. As an independent designer I am the person who decides what needs I want to fill and what fabric I’m going to use… within the scope of this project~ the need is to fulfill my creative whims and the fabric needs to be sourced locally and preferably reLoved. So where in a small town does one source large quantities of fabric, the drapery dept. of the local thrift store of course!

The pink brocade was given to me by my good friend Andrea. The lace is from a set of curtains that used to belong to my grandmother. The lining is a particular treasure that came to me by way of a local artist who was going to use it for banners for a local music fest… it was a WW2 silk parachute. While cutting the lining I came across the words ‘dog dirt’ scrawled on the silk… hmm. A google search revealed it to be a baseball moniker that means ‘scrappy’.

Of course this little bit of graffiti needed to be included… imagine jumping out of a plane in Europe with a couple pounds of silk in a bag on your back… scrappy indeed! Which got me to thinking that it was entirely possible that his loved ones were at home in a room possibly decorated with similar drapes to the ones that I had made the coat and dress from… reLove is an amazing thing.

The buttons on the coat are new. Made by a very talented FB friend in Vancouver, Grace Lee from eikcam, who just happens to be doing up some finery for an elegant hotel in downtown Vancouver… how I love this modern age… we never met while I lived in Vancouver despite our being similar ages and of a similar social circle, but here we are connected at last. The buttons on the dress were a gift from a woman I worked with ages ago who was a true inspiration and all round fabulous gal, they are a vintage treasure that I have hauled around with me for the last dozen years or so.

The pattern is my own, and is responsible for achy knees and my strong desire for a larger studio so that I can have a bigger cutting table and no longer have to cut large pieces on the floor… sigh.


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