“Life as a Dress Form” 2012

“Vanity adorns herself in laces, never rags
Pearls she drapes on bodies splayed
Her needle razor-sharp
Pinning, draping, cutting… dreaming of Couture
Each calculated stitch, feeding her morbid soul”
I was originally inspired to make this creation from my friend Renee Keith. She is an amazing photographer and was doing an artist series of shoots. Using artists drawings or creations and photo-shopping them into a photo of the actually artist! Unfortunately I am horrible at drawing… I also already model a lot of my costumes (I love to dress up fancy)…so I was trying to figure out a way I could incorporate my artistry into a photo and this is what emerged!! I have always loved old vintage dress forms 🙂 !!! besides a needle and thread….this is one of the main tools I use when creating any of my costumes! I also thought it would be a rad costume that i could use in a runway show later this year!!

I started off by adjusting a dress form I already have, to my exact measurements. Then wrapped it in plastic and paper mache the whole body form! Once I had a few layers on and it had full hardened,  was able to cut the pieces where I desired. I used coffee to stain some basic cotton fabric to get that old dingy coloring!! As I covered the pieces…then used sand paper and some brown ink to rough up the edges, adding some holes for the distressed look!! Then came putting it back together!!! Using metal eyelet strips found at Home Depot and some push tacks I attached all the pieces back together!

We were all so excited about this shoot!! I asked my very talented friend Chaunsey L. Hildebrandt to work magic on my hair and mau! Also having the amazing Keith duo Todd & Renee photograph it!! We wanted a vintage granny attic sorta feel… fortunately my sewing studio has some awesome furniture I’ve acquired! We had to do some rearranging…. but my studio turned out perfect for the shoot!!

We also had fun playing around with a vintage dress I have of my grandmothers!! Also a 1920’s inspired dress i had made!! Renee also recently got a life-size replica skeleton!! We named him Phil and he was down to shoot as well 😉 !! Here are some finished photos as well as behind the scenes!! Hope you enjoy them!!

Check out more of their amazing work!!

Chaunsey L. Hildebrandt    http://www.facebook.com/CHildebrandtArt?ref=ts

Renee Keith http://www.reneekeith.com








Todd Keith http://www.bellora.com


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