Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Heart of Hollywood
Released in 2000, this circa 1950 outfit was designed by the talented Vince Nowell. Recently, doing a downsizing project to avoid being put on the show "Hoarders," I decided that this outfit had to go. In setting up a photoshoot to put it on ebay, I chose my Lucille Ball-Gene (hair courtesy of Kathy Johnson), figuring the red hair would go great with HOH's teal fabric.
Once I started shooting, I had a startling revelation.
This outfit is staying!
Something clicked (pun intended) when I started shooting and I really fell in love with this gown and jewelry set. Sometimes, the reverse occurs. I think I'm going to love an outfit, and then when I see how it drapes (or doesn't drape), I decide to sell it. You just never know.
Vince was kind enough to share with me some of the process that resulted in the outfit you see here today:
Out of all the outfits I designed for Gene during her Ashton Drake years, HOH went through the most changes. It was originally supposed to be lemon yellow chiffon that had silver polka dots, but then Joan Greene decided to change the color combination. She found the teal satin with black polka dots, and decided to add the evening coat. The original evening coat had puffed sleeves, and was not split up the back. Instead the coat had a bustle effect in the back, which was held full by the bow and streamers on the back of the gown. Joan decided she wanted the coat to be split up the back so the bow and streamers could peek out. She also made the decision to change the shape of the coat's sleeves. There were two elements that were omitted in the production process—my guess is that it was to cut cost. The original design had opera gloves, and a satin petticoat underneath the gown. Also the original doll was supposed to have the same haircolor as Destiny, but was changed to a lemon blonde.
Sadly I don't have a sketch of the original design for HOH. We worked off a photo that Joan sent of an evening gown that had an apron effect in the front that gathered to a bustle with bow and streamers in the back. The photograph was shot from the back of the gown, so I kind of had to do some guessing as to what the front might look like. The coat was adapted from a photo of some Charles James evening coats that I saw online. Definitely not one of my original ideas, just inspired by the photos that I was given to work with. Most of the Gene designs you had from the Ashton Drake years were interpretations of vintage designs from other designers. Occasionally an original idea was chosen. Out of my original ideas were Bridge Club (an adaption of a dress my oldest sister had in her wardrobe), Pool Party, Sunset Celebration, Meet Me in Paris and Little Blessings. Out of those 5, the only 2 designs that went through without any changes were Sunset Celebrations and Little Blessings. The other 3 had changes that were decided by Joan and Mel.
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