Monday, February 2, 2009

A Diary of a Dress - The Sketch

My good friend Steven Rafter sees the launch of his first novel - 209 A Story - at Balmoral Castle in Scotland in March and requested I create a dress for one of his friends who will be in attendance. The book tells the story of Arthur Gordon McCrae the only Australian recovered from the Atlantic on the maiden voyage of RMS TITANIC 1912. It promises to be an exciting event and a terrific book.

Here I thought I would give you a look into the story of creating a dress for a client for a specific occasion. From the initial brief through to the wearing of the dress.

After being briefed on the occasion and the venue for the dress, I got to work developing ideas. As it is to be worn at the Queen’s Castle there were certain dress requirements in regards to suitability and protocol. On top of these and the desire to create something chic and elegant I also wanted to capture a sense of the history of the book, while keeping the dress thoroughly modern and in line with my vision as a designer. After draping rough ideas on my half scale mannequin I developed the idea in the above sketch. The high neck and draped bodice referencing some styles from the period of the novel, the soft drapery also has a classical tradition in art and dress which I thought would be a lovely gesture to the themes and ideas of the book.

The sketch is the first impression of the dress, giving a sense of its feel and mood. Happily Jax and Steven loved the idea and we are now going ahead with the dress. In the coming weeks I will post more about the further development of the dress, the toiling, fitting and final execution.

I hope you enjoy the story.


Anonymous said...

Ben as always your work is outstanding, I can't wait to hear of your success at Fashion Week xxx

Steven Rafter said...

hello Ben - I finally got to read what you wrote - thank you, my friend... one thing that will be missing in Scotland is U! - bon chance mon ami - Steve

Stacy said...

I love the dress sketches.