Friday, June 6, 2008

Time to let it go...

Alright, it is the end of my grieving period and I'm now ready to sell the Marie Antoinette dress.

This garment is made completely from scratch with no pattern. It was made for a specific model to wear on the runway and therefore the size is quite unusual and can't be changed really. The waist of the gown is 24 inches over a corset. So, if you can cinch a corset that tightly on yourself (or not so tightly for many) than it will fit your waist just fine. The model who wore this for the show was a DD, so the bust is quite large. This is the only area I might be able to alter the garment to be smaller. The arms of the gown are also very skinny. I do have a bit more of the fabric used to make the gown, therefore, I could remake the sleeves, but that will be reflected in the price considering the new sleeves will have to be tea dyed and distressed to match and more trim will have to be used. As you see in the pictures, originally, the hook and eyes I used to hold the front of the over skirt together were not very successful. I have replaced these hook and eyes with ties to hold it better. Lastly, my model was 5' 9", so the dress is (if I remember correctly) 42" from natural waist to the hem. Lastly, the model was longer waisted than the measurements I had been given. Therefore, this dress fits best on people with short to "normal" length waists. If you're long from the waist to the bust, this dress is not for you, it will not fit correctly.

This garment includes: A bodice with hand beaded stomacher. The stomacher velcros closed because this was a stage costume and then zips underneath, this makes it incredibly easy to put on and take off; no pins required. The bodice then has large pant hooks to connect to the over skirt, which sits at the natural waist. The over skirt is very heavy with deep pleats in the back and draping cascades in the front. It is also decorated with the hand beaded fabric. The underskirt is built onto the panier. Because of this, the garment has to be worn with this particular, oversized panier. It was made specifically to have a skeletal appearance, as if the dress were centuries old and falling apart (more below). Therefore, it has a tattered hem with trim to enhance this idea. The corset that was made for this dress is not small enough for the dress. In order for the corset to be cinched to 24" the back steel boning has to overlap, which makes it uncomfortable to wear. I recommend getting your own white, very low cut (or underbust) corset to go with this dress.

The corset is for sale separately, though, if someone is interested. It is a fully metal boned corset made of white corset coutil. I'm selling it for relatively cheap because the binding isn't as smooth as it should be (my fault, poor cutting) I can show close ups of these areas if someone is interested.

Now for the fun stuff. This dress was inspired by the H.P. Lovecraft short story "The Tomb" for a fashion show featuring Marie Antoinette inspired period interpretations. The idea was to make it look as if the woman wearing the dress could have crawled out of the wreckage of the "dead" house in H.P. Lovecraft's story. Therefore, the dress is tea dyed around the entire hem quite dark and the entire dress is distressed quite a bit, but not enough to call the construction integrity into question. Also, there is moss hand sewn onto the gown to enhance the aged appearance. The wig pictured is, unfortunately, not available. The hair dresser who made it was not willing to sell it to me. Very sorry. The mask is available, I'll throw it in for free (it could be made awesome with some work but was a last minute addition I didn't really want). This dress is not washable. The top could perhaps be hand washed but due to the extremely delicate and expensive stomacher fabric, I wouldn't chance it. Febreze is your best bet for freshening the gown.

It cost me over $400 just for the materials in this dress, I spend over 200 hours constructing it, including a lot... a LOT of hand stitching. Note: There is duct tape inside the hoop skirt to help hold the massively wide panier "open." I could try to find another way to finish this off, but in the hours and hours spent trying to get the hoop skirt to stay up under the weight of the over skirt, this way worked the best. Also, with the dress I will include instructions as to the best method of putting it on. The panier -will- sag under the weight of the over skirt, it is supposed to. It is also supposed to flop a bit when you walk, it adds to the look of decay. If this will upset you, do not purchase this costume. It isn't meant to simply be beautiful, it is meant to convey a mood.

I'm asking $3,000 for all the pieces in this gown minus the corset. I'm asking $50 for the corset itself. These prices do not include shipping. I will absolutely not take returns on this costume, no matter what. If you have any questions you -must- ask them -before- you commit to buying the piece.

That all being said, I have not yet had a chance to do a photo shoot with this dress. I'm still trying to make arrangements with a model to shoot in it. I won't sell this dress until I have photographs of it, but please let me know if you're interested or have any questions.

Now pictures :)

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