where sisters, sibling rivalry, and creativity collide.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Dare to Design 2013

It's time for Shabby Apple's annual Dare to Design contest! This year's inspiration comes from the 1940s.

First I watched "Anchor's Aweigh" (1945). Or rather, I watched Kathryn Grayson. For as frugal and rationed as the war years were, she had quite a nice wardrobe. By day she had serious separates, but what I really loved were her long, flowing evening dresses. Still, they had plain, jewel necklines. That wouldn't do.

My real inspiration came from another war movie: "Miss Annie Rooney" (1942). Annie spends most of the movie in her wardrobe of school separates. Near the climax of the movie, her grandfather pledges his pension to buy her an evening gown on credit, so she can attend the formal birthday dinner and dance of a chivalrous young gentleman she likes. With a sweetheart neckline and flowing chiffon skirt, she is a vision of loveliness in spite of wartime rationing and an underachieving father.

My design incorporates the sweetheart neckline, and a bodice with princess seams and ruching (vertical gathering). The ruching is echoed in chiffon over the lined cap sleeves. I shortened the flowing chiffon skirt to a figure-flattering tea length, making it more versatile for the modern woman. 

This rosebud-pink chiffon vision could be springtime's "little black dress." It would look lovely at an outdoor wedding, church, or a garden party. With a jacket, it could go to work; with some sparkly jewelry, it could transition to evening as well.