Oscar Buzz '17

Well...it's that time of year again when all eyes turn towards the Academy Awards' red carpet. And this time around didn't disappoint. Like I said for the Paris Couture report....as those trends go, so do the dresses on the red carpet! In fact, the Chanel gown we featured in our last report resurfaced on actress, Sofia Boutella!

But if this version looks a little different than the one in my dolly Couture report looks slightly different it's because in the first gown was cut from a dark silver lame to which I added a light silver glitter, trimmed in a white, long-haired faux fur. I was pretty happy with the result, but felt the styling could be improved. So I replaced the fluffy tail and replaced it with rows of shimmering silver fringe.

Paris Haute Couture Spring '17: Chanel. (left to right) Original dress, 1st doll version, final do-over
Then I tossed a silver leather jacket over Waris' shoulders and wrapped her with lots silvery jewelry. I was not going to undo this revised edition, so I made a second version, this time using silver metallic leather and the fluffy trim that I had removed from the first dress!

I had quite a selection of looks to chose from this year. The limiting factors were time constraints and fabric. I would love to have done that exquisite gold and white beaded Givenchy gown worn by Emma Stone. But since the look is all about the beads, I had to pass. One gown I immediately said was impossible...the Elie Saab worn by actress Janelle Monae..I ended up making. I love Ms. Monae's choices of red carpet dresses. She's a real risk taker who loves to experiment with her look! As usual, translating something this complicated all boils down to closely studying the design and breaking it down to its most essential basics.
What convinced me to make this gown was the printed fabric---taken from an old blouse I cut up. What is important in translating this kind of "complicated" look is to give an overall summary and not get bogged down with the intricate details of the original which is covered with beaded embroideries of birds and tiny feathers!  For Tamron's version, the top is a basic bodice to which I have sewn on bird silhouettes I rough cut from scraps of silver lame. I added beads around the armholes and neckline.

The skirt is printed fabric where I have enhanced the horizontal strips with rows of beads in the front. And for the bustles-- my sparkle tulle came to the rescue! Gathered and added to either side and back of the skirt and lined with a layer of polyester taffeta (which explains how it holds its shape)!. Here, I've sewn it directly to the waistband, but as soon as I undress Tamron, I'll remove it and stitch it to a ribbon so that it can be removed. Like that the dress is more versatile! I added some more cut out birds to the bustles. (You can tack them with a few stitches which is what I did on the bodice or simply glue them in place on the tulle, which is what I did with the bustle!)

Karlie Kloss in Stella McCartney's white gown also caught my eye for the pureness of its sheer simplicity.
For the dress, I used a 2-way stretch rayon jersey and made a pattern right on her body. There are only two side seams. The left shoulder is left open so that the doll can get in and out of the dress. For the cape, it is the standard pattern as outlined in our tutorial (click HERE) except that on the back, only one side of the back includes the rounded shoulder while on the opposite side, the pattern takes on the natural shoulder line of the bodice. On the doll's left side, I dropped a straight line from the neck-shoulder point to the hem. (This is attached to the shoulder seam on the back of the dress. The front dress shoulder seam folds over this and is closed shut with hook and eyes. In the front of the cape, the curve of one shoulder is there but I dropped a straight line from the side of the neck to the hem for an abbreviated cape effect. It is fully lined in a polyester that perfectly matches the jersey.
On one side there is a "cape" while on the other an elegant train.
It trails in the back like a train from the exposed shoulder. The front of the dress closes over at the shoulder line and is held in place with the help of 2 hook and eyes.

This is a dress I probably wouldn't have given a second glance. This is Louise Roe in Pronovias...a brand I don't know. This was simply a "I-Can-Do-It-Better" challenge. The dress has so much potential but is undermined by its length and lack of accessories. Given the Oscars is a formal affair, I question the choice of the hemline. Simply by extending the hem to the grown, the dress is more stunning. Moreover, the actress could take a few tips from our model Samantha whose hair has more volume. And nothing glams up a look than a big fluffy feather boa!!!

The Dior dress worn by actress Kirsten Dunst was irresistible. It's quite simple but spectacular. It's the kind of look my dolls will be fighting to wear for the end-of-year holidays! The original dress calls for some degree of gathers in the front and back. But in my first glance, I saw a beautiful off the shoulder princess line dress. In reality, Yvette's Dolly Dior would be more easily worn by most (human) women because it more gently falls over the body without injecting the kind of bulk bring to a garment. So for our version, I used the classic princess line pattern, but redesigned the neckline to be strapless. Worth noting...there is a waist length strapless foundation underneath. Essentially, it is sheer, strapless bodice which helps hold the dress to the body of the doll. Also, the hem is slightly asymmetrical, hiked up just enough to reveal the foot.


We could not do this report without including the Armani Prive dress worn by Oscar winner (for Best Supporting Actress), Viola Davis. This started out with a basic sheath dress where the dress is suspended from a strap around the neck. Of course, I flared out the sides, then added a train. A long piece of fabric was gathered at both ends. One end is tacked in place behind the neck strap. It drapes down over the shoulders, around the back and the opposite end comes back up and is stitched behind the neck strap. I cheated a little by securing the folds with a few hidden stitches there at the neck as well as where this drapes around the arms! I used an inexpensive fabric, but as soon as I can get my hands on a lovely piece of silk jersey, I will be making this dress again!


Well....while we've been dancing during Carnival and taking in all the festivities in Hollywood, the fashion capitals of the world have been busy hosting the Fall Winter Ready-to-Wear fashion collections. Our girls have been on the ground collecting information on all the hottest looks they plan to wear in six months. We'll begin our coverage shortly!


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