Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Challenge 8- Helen Kish/Erté Design
The challenge is to select one or more Erté or Poiret fashion illustrations and create a fantasy gown for a woman of today, but clearly inspired by either artist of the ART DECO style. I chose two black and white illustrations that captivated me in their grace and movement. One was of a woman's head and arms only covered in fine chains with dangling tassles like marionettes on each end. The other, a dramatic styilized rendering of a woman in a striped coat, the arms alternating between wide black and white stripes and the entire garment flowing and arching as only Erté the master can do. I searched fabric stores for the perfect inspiration but found nothing. I had in my mind the type of crochetted lace I wanted, had seen and was not ready to cut a piece out of...yet. It was one of many garments I used as costume for a Biblical play I had done last winter. I draped the fabric on my stand-in doll, Tyler. It looked perfect. I cut. She stayed draped for days while I nursed an angry flu. All I needed was an undergarment of fitted black knit. I decided on a simple tube dress because the fabric needed only just that. No large stripes for this delicate fabric of ivory and pewter. I wanted a graceful wrap with hints of Erté's beautiful drawing. It is a fantasy gown. It would have to be tied at each juncture of the arm for it not to cascade down, but who would care? The effect is all we need.