Tuesday, July 26, 2011

horse hair

I just had the pleasure of using horse hair.  Not a big deal, really, I use it all of the time.  This time I brought out the really strong stuff.  I imagine Charles James used the same when creating above gown. 

I just finished a dress for Annie.  She is an artist that lives in D.C.  She came home to get married.  She came early to get a gown made.  I had a great time with this gown.  We knew the elements we would use.  We just didn't know we would be going so sculptural with it.  Thus the horse hair.  Do you see how the pictured gown goes in and out in waves.  That is thanks to horse hair.... and the genius of Charles James. 

Charles James is an interesting character.  I discovered his gowns over and over again.  They were always the ones that caught my eye when looking through fashion books.  I finally figured out that it was the same guy creating all of these works of art.  I am not good with names.  Anyway, just a brief tidbit about him.  He was designing in the 60's and creating quite structured gowns.  He was pretty sought after.  Then the free flowing, non structured frocks took hold.  I think it really set him back.  He didn't do as well then.  He had such incredible and big gowns.  There are quite a few available to see in museums because the women would donate them.  Thankfully we have so many to inspire us.   

Tragically he died in the Chelsey Hotel of pneumonia in the 80's.  I do love his story and I do love his gowns.  Funny how I can be so effected by other's work.  There is nothing like the old school way of doing things.  How I wish could learn it.  The more I make gowns the less I know.  Why is that?

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