Let’s just start with this basic fact: quilters (and seamstresses) and grandmothers are the best people ever and quilting grandmothers are unfairly hard on the universe’s awesomeness scale. I mean, seriously — tone it down people. But don’t, you know, cuz I love you.
Anyway, awesome quilting grandmothers are the kinds of people who know other awesome quilting grandmothers who have collections of ’70s dresses and skirts that they’re giving away — and if the former are super awesome, then they’ll give you first pick. Seriously. That’s how awesome my grandmother and her friends are.
It’s also how I ended up with this awesome dress.
Apparently karma felt it owed me some favors too because the dress fits perfectly. Not, oh-it-just-needs-some-minor-adjustments perfectly or it’s-good-enough-that-I-won’t-change-anything perfectly — I’m talking was-this-dress-custom-made-for-me perfectly. And while I would never wear it to prom, I’m kinda in love with it. I have a soft spot in my heart for both gowns and beautiful lace and this dress fills both of them.
(I mean, look at that lace.)
Before I tried it on, I had expected more of a serious-remodel job, probably involving lopping off the bottom and changing the bodice, at least. But when I saw how perfectly the dress fit, I realized that I really didn’t want to change anything. I don’t even really care that it’s six inches too long (yes, I’m exactly that short).
So I started brainstorming ways to integrate this dress into a costume, preferably one that was conducive to a photo shoot (something I’ve been wanting to do for a while). My mind got snagged on the idea of a vaguely fairytale-inspired shoot, which brought me to the idea of little red riding hood.
I have to say, there’s something I love about this idea. Maybe it’s how Red Riding Hood is that kind of story that they tell children but then when you grow up you realize how dark it is. It’s like the epitome of the juxtaposition of childhood innocence and teenage reality. (Sorry for going all English class on you guys.)
So this is the basic plan I have right now: the white dress with an off-white underbust corset under a ridiculously over-sized red cloak, lined in black lace. Possibly paired with one of my friends in all black under a black, fur-trimmed cloak (AKA the wolf).
The idea behind the new pieces for this shoot (the corset and the cloaks) is to build up a collection of fairly neutral pieces that can be used as a basis for various future projects. Having an off-white underbust corset?–that’s useful. As is a red cloak that’s fully reversible — think: intricate black lace with red poking through from the other side. Perfect for a refined pop of color in a black-based costume.
I’m going shopping in the LA Fabric District tomorrow to look for fabric for the cloaks. A crapton of fabric.