November 12, 2015

Costume Design Challenge: Day One - Three

I've joined the November Costume Design Challenge hosted by the famous & fabulous Lauren of Wearing History!  And you can too by clicking on link above or picture below:

(Image via: Wearing History)

For each day in the month of November, there is a provided a "challenge scene" or "character" for participants then to costume design away.  Whether the entry be a sketch or photo collage, or even both, the object is creativity.  Inspiration can be pulled from any time period - past, present or future, fantasy or reality, historical or not - "no limits," Lauren writes!  While the challenge is really set up for Instagram (which I am not on, yet) - Wearing History's Instagram Feed - she also extends the invitation to Facebook, blogs (which I have chosen), et al.  So, I hope that you will decide to join in too, because it's simple and fun to play!

Here were the first week's challenges:

I am joining in a little late, so there probably will be several days of catch up...and blogging, as usual, probably also will be behind...While I really should be sharpening the pencils, and my drawing skills, for the sake of time and fun, I will be creating photo collages for all of my challenge entries.  Ideas and costume designs, themselves, may come quickly; but, the paper part does not always.  So, without further ado, the designs...  

Challenge #1: The Femme Fatale 

Please click for larger image.

Definition:  Femme Fatale (noun) - an attractive and seductive woman, especially one who will ultimately bring disaster to a man who becomes involved with her.

Design:  Immediately I thought of glamour of Old Hollywood, and the slinky bias-cut, shimmery, silken evening dresses of the 1930s.  In a poison or bright emerald green, silk satin or  fabric, the gown would have a dangerously low-cut back with generous drapery.  

I love the top half of this dress, coupled with the dramatic pose:

Augusta Bernard, photographed by George Hoyningen-Huene, 1933
(Image via: Pinterest, Holden Luntz Gallery)

Add the swoop of the bottom half & train of this gown:

Silver Satin Evening Gown, 1930s
(Image via: Augusta Auctions, Lot 214)

And a pair of killer, glitzy, but not gaudy, heels:

Green silk with gold leather trim, labelled Oppenheim Collins, mid-1930s.
(Image via: Pinterest)

Challenge #2:  The Gothic Thriller 

Please click for larger image.

 Gothic (adjective) - Of or relating to a style of fiction that emphasizes the grotesque, mysterious, and desolate; Thriller (noun) -  one that thrills; especially a work of fiction or drama designed to hold the interest by the use of a high degree of intrigue, adventure, or suspense.

Design:  I had a hard time deciding between the fashions of the early Victorian period (think the 1840s, the Brontë Sisters, Edgar Allan Poe) and those of the late Victorian period, which, in the end, won out.  Dressed in an all black, bustle gown with a sleek line, perhaps with a glimmer of gold on her boots and a narrow trickle of blood red trim in the front, an ominous figure can be seen.  You can hear the slight rustle of her heavy train as she glides past, shrouded in mystery, but her face is kept from your view by a large parasol.

This dress, period:  It's exactly what I had in mind to the sleek, fitted form, cascading train, and even the parasol!  I would change the front though...

Mourning ensemble, c.1870-72
(Image via: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Costume Institute)

Look at these gilded boots!  I am inspired by the careful curves and complimenting scallops:

Side-button boots, c.1870-79.
(Image via: FIDM Musem & Galleries)

If you did happen to catch a glimpse of my mystery lady's front, you would be greeted by a tall, top hat, every bit as elegant as her dress, trimmed with a large pair of wings, black of course.  Her face, however, would be still be hidden with a long, full mourning veil.

Ladies' Victorian Silk Top Hat, c. 1880s.
(Image via: Etsy - Nehelenia)

Challenge #3:  She Travels by Train

Please click for larger image.

Definition: Travels (verb) -  to go from one place to another, as on a trip or journey; Train (noun) - a series of connected railroad cars pulled or pushed by one or more locomotives.

Design:  Vintage suitcase.  1940s suit.  Mother with child in hand.  Those were the first thoughts that came to me when I read the prompt.  I can just see that mother now, suitcase in one hand and child in the other, trying to keep everyone and everything together as they make their way through the busy train station.  Mom wears a matching, grayish-brown, suit jacket with the coordinating skirt, and a smartly perched hat.  The four-year-old daughter, dressed in a red, scalloped coat dress with shiny, patent leather, Mary Janes and tall, white socks, steps in sync with the soft click of her mother's modest pumps.  Each one carries a travel suitcase, tan with several bands of brown lines, and the little one adds a skip to her step, eagerly anticipating her first train ride.

How precious is this?  A little one with a suitcase just about as big as she is tall:

Railway platform at Bristol, England,
photographed by George W. Hales, 1936.
(Image via: Tumblr)

Lady on the right in red:  My idea of the ideal shape and style for the 40s suit.

Sewing pattern: Misses two piece suit dress, size 14, 1940s.
(Image via:

Little girl in the red coat on the bottom right:  What an adorable coat dress!  The scallops and peter pan collar add the perfect touch, not to mention the precious matching hat and shoes.

Sewing pattern: Advance 5928, toddler size four, 1940s.
(Image via:  Etsy - AdeleBeeAnnPatterns)

Please visit my November Costume Design Challenge Pinterest Board for all of my inspiration images, as well as where you will find the links to the original image sources.  Thanks for reading!

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