At UCSC, one of the colleges has this huge event every year called the Queer Fashion Show. It's more like a variety show than anything else, with dance numbers, skits, student-made videos, stand-up comedy, and of course fashion!
Me and my friend decided that neither of us had time to do a runway show by ourselves, but we both wanted to do something, so we chose a theme we could both run with and split the show up the middle. We settled on basing our show on the Japanese days of the week, Moon Day, Water Day, Fire Day, Wood Day, Gold Day, Ground Day, and Sun Day. Of the seven, I did three, and they were Moon, Wood, and Sun.
Originally there were going to be three designers, each of us doing two and collaborating on the seventh, but he pulled out and we had to scramble to make three more, which kinda sucked. Anyway!
This is Wood Day.
I'm going to start with the one that was definitely the most work-intensive. I couldn't start this one until I had the underlying corset completed, so by the time I was drafting the patterns for this I was completely done with the other two and the show was only two weeks away.
The idea was that this outfit would be reminiscent of a giant tree. Rocky, the model, towered over almost everyone else, and that was before I put her into 5" heels! I wasn't really intending for it to look steampunk-y, but between the gear-like buttons and the chains on the headpiece and Rocky's victorian good looks, I think she wouldn't look out of place on an airship at all...
This is the closest I have to a shot of the back. The coat has puffed, two-part sleeves with a giant dart that runs down the bottom piece of the sleeve, which is how I got them to look so fitted. The tails in the back were surprisingly easy to do, and look really really cool in person. There is also a cape-thing on the upper back of the coat that was designed to be buckled down to the back of the coat to match the "vestet" on the sun dress, but I decided that I liked it better flapping free.
I just really like this picture.
The coat and the skirt are both very asymmetrical. I don't have a dress form, so instead of doing the clever thing and ruffling each piece before applying it to the base skirt, I randomly pleated each piece on, hoping for the best! I drafted all of these pattern pieces by hand, so there was some trial and error in getting everything to work. Originally I was going to have the ruffles go all the way down to the bottom of the skirt, but I ran out of time. Funny enough I think it looks was better this way! There's a built-in petticoat in under the skirt, and in total there's about 15 yards of cotton broadcloth hanging off her waist.
Here's a shot without the coat, showing the corset that I made. It was the first corset I have ever made, and naturally I decided that my show needed three! I'm not very proud of how it looks, the wrinkles really bother me. Luckily, it really is intended as underwear and NOT outerwear, so it doesn't really matter that it isn't as pretty as it could be. Plus, it is boned with all steel boning, and it does the job! Uncorseted, Rocky's waist is 29". Corseted, it was about 26". In the first fitting she kept asking to see if she could go smaller, and who am I to say no? I love how curvy it made her.
This is the Sun. I am super proud of this one! Like the tree outift, I drafted all of the patterns from scratch, and it fits her really really well. In fact, she's going to wear the velveteen dress (minus the vestet) to my wedding later this year! Technically, this outfit was probably the easiest. I barely had to make any changes going from sloper to pattern, and the only real difference is the square neckline and the gathered insert. The skirt is a full circle, and the heavy velveteen makes it drape really really beautifully.
The gold underbust corset here is by far my favorite piece in the whole show. Because of the upper part, I've been calling it a "vestet" because it is both a vest and a corset. It's made of this dark metallic gold fabric with silver pinstripes, and the binding is made out of the same black velveteen that I made Moon's corset out of. The vest upper is removable and buckles on with buckles I had to order off of the internet. I went to every fabric store within a three hour drive of my house, and it was impossible to find regular old square buckles! Like the other two corsets, this one has all spiral steel boning. The outer layer is really thin, so there are two layers of cotton twill underneath.
I love how this outfit looks from the back. It's laced like a normal overbust corset, with two loops in the middle, and the two bows in the back are really striking. The vestet covers it up, but the back neckline of this dress is also square, and it's really cute.
Bonus supervillain shot! Between the gloves and the black shoes and the red makeup, Ames looks kinda crazy and badass. We were joking the entire show that she was definitely the supervillian to Tony's superhero.
And finally, the Moon. At first this outfit had arm-cuff things made out of the same black velveteen as the corset, and it made Tony look like a monochrome wonderwoman.
I cut the cuffs, because I thought it looked a little too ridiculous. Not that I'm not a fan of silly clothing. I am.
It comes across in the pictures pretty well, but this moon dress is really shiny.
We were a little afraid that the lighting techs would want to kill us. The skirt is not one but two full circles, and she can pick up the hem and pull it all the way to her head and still be completely modest. Also, it was the twirliest thing that has ever twirled, and Tony told me that she spent a lot of time practicing so that she could pull of a twirl at the end of the runway without looking silly.
I'm really proud of the diagonal side zipper on this corset. When I started floating my ideas, everybody I asked told me it wouldn't work (and I work in the costume shop for UCSC's theater department, so theoretically they know what they're talking about). I made it work, though, and I think it looks really cool. The belt and the necklace are the only recycled parts of this show - I couldn't find a silver belt that I liked, so I made one out of a scarf I got from Target that I never wore.
Here's the back! I love the boat neck on the silver dress, but it took a lot of messing with to get it right. I kinda wish that I had had another week or two, because I think it would have looked better with more drape in the front. Oh, well. The dress under the corset is in a baby-doll style, with a wide waistband right under the breasts. It's pretty cute, but I think it looks a little better with the more defined waist from the corset.
Finally, the group shot! This shows the whole runway show, including the other designer's stuff.
Front row: Gold (Friday), Water (Tuesday), Moon (Monday)
Back row: Tree (Thursday), Sun (Sunday), Fire (Wednesday), me, the other designer, Ground (Saturday).
Neither of us knew we were gonna be in the picture until the photographer made us get in front of the camera.
I have a tonne more pictures, including some runway shots and some in-progress shots, but I haven't gone through them yet.
Thanks for looking!