Saturday, October 12, 2013

This May Be The Lavender Dress Of My Dreams

In an earlier post, I wrote how I was having a craving for a lavender or periwinkle blue dress.  Some time after that I saw a video of a Florence + the Machine performance where Florence wore the most beautiful and expertly fitted dress in a very similar color.  The dress had a very strong 1930's feel which made it all the better in my mind.

Florence + the Machine, MTV's Unplugged, December 2011.

I could not find any identifying information for who designed the dress but after some research (perhaps too much time was devoted to this task...) I believe this dress to be a Valentino from the 2011 collections, because 1) Florence has worn Valentino before and had attended the 2011 Pre-fall collection as an invited guest and 2) the style and coloring matches that of items within that same Valentino collection.  I hate the fact that I can't find any confirmation of this.  Almost all of her other performance outfits are sourced somewhere on the Web but not this one.  Arggh.  Why is there no "What Florence Wore" site when there is one for Emma from Glee?

This is the only picture I could find to get an idea of the skirt's sweep.  It reveals a slight train in the back with the fullness flowing down from a form-fitting silhouette at waist and hips.

This picture reveals the many seam lines of the dress.  There are four tucks released right underneath the bust; two to each side, that shape the waist and then meet another seam coming from atop the hip bone that leads down and meet directly in the middle of the body. 

The flutter sleeves, clearly referencing the 1930-40's emphasis on the shoulders, are layered atop one another with the upper tier larger in width and placed nearer the dress center than the lower one.  Both seem to be placed in order to droop down the arm rather than hang level or extend out (see below).

This picture reveals how the sleeves seem to be ruched at the top, perhaps even smocked at the shoulder, resembling epaulets which is reminiscent of the 1940s military-influenced styles.  The bodice is then fashioned with a simple bateau neckline.

Looking through my files and pins of 1930's dresses I found a few images that incorporate similar sleeves:

National Recovery Administration patterns from 1933-35.

I am also aware of two FREE patterns that could be used to create the body portion of the dress.  However, for practicality and more opportunities to wear I would hem this dress just under the knee or at mid-calf length for period authenticity. The Your Style Rocks' Eva pattern would look lovely in a silk stretch jersey, crepe, or charmeuse and so would the Vera Venus Little Bias Dress made up in a silky woven placed on the bias.

Photos By: PictureGroup


Nettie said...

I love everything she wears!! I think she's amazing!! And she wore this dress very well.

Anonymous said...

That black bias dress is just beautiful. I think there may be a muslin in my near future. THANK YOU!!!

Mary in Thailand

Ms. McCall said...

Wow, fab dress. It looks like the skirt portion is on the bias, and that's why it has that triangular shaped seam at the waist line. It seems like the "Little Bias Dress" is the best match for the bias feature, which is surely why it skims her body so well.