While walking through the booths at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) this past April, I saw one particular booth full of corsets. However, it wasn’t the corsets that caught my attention but what was hanging on one of the mannequins:
Yup, it was a dress with a built in corset. I figured that it was just one hell of an impulse buy so I told myself that I would walk around the floor for a few hours more and if I can’t stop thinking about that dress, then I’ll go back and have a dress made, if not… well obviously it would be an impulse buy (the whole gut instinct vs logic thinking). I figured if I was still thinking about the dress after a few hours of walking around the floor and talking to friends, then I’ll go ahead and purchase the dress, otherwise… well you know.
Turns out it wasn’t an impulse buy, I still wanted that dress, or something similar to it. Two years earlier I purchased a corset for myself and loved it, but I rarely wore it, unable to bring myself to wear it outside of the comfort of my home. So I was wanting to find a piece that I could wear while out and about… then again, I think I would prefer wearing that kind of a dress around my theatre friends as opposed to anyone outside. But I digress…
The booth, as it turned out was Generations of Art, based in Michigan. When one thinks of corsets the typical is either period wear or… well intimates. What I wanted was an outfit that accentuated the positives of my figure while smoothing out the flaws. I was born with curves, not enough to be a perfect hourglass shape, but close enough that with a little help I can be. I rarely showed that off, but I was learning to embrace the curves and just fly with it.
So when I saw the dress and an opportunity I figured why not, she has been creating dresses that were more modern with a corset built in. The dress we agreed to was a 50s rockabilly style and reversible, one side would be a black and red brocade that I fell in love with and the other side would be a blue fabric that she would send pictures about so I could decide on the exact color and fabric. After several weeks she sent the following pictures:
I was in love, especially with the color of the blue-ish side, I mean look at it, it was a silvery-blue look and iridescent in a way. Now, if I could feel comfortable wearing it out of my door was a different story altogether. I gave it a trial run during a cast pool party figuring the best group of people to get away with wearing something like that would be amongst my theatre friends, and tried the other side at a BBQ with other theatre friends. When I wore the above dress, I found that I loved it and wanted more. Though, now looking back… I should probably ask for a sash to wrap/tie across my waist.
Later I asked the creator of Generations of Art in possibly creating another dress, probably sleeveless/strapless this time with the back hem lower than the front hemline. This time I would love to have a more forest green / deep green color to be one side of the dress, as for the other… I’m not entirely sure. At first I thought that balancing the green with violet would work, but then the whole dress would be in cooler color tones, not to mention I already have a medium blue dress and wanting a dark blue/indigo dress for later. Then I saw the original picture of the 50s Rockabilly dress and thought about having the other side be the same fabric, but that was a green/red flower on a black print and as nice as it would look it would not be as balanced as I would like. Plus that would make it a second red-related dress. Then I started thinking about my recent costumes from the past couple of shows, there was a bright violet color with a blue hue that I loved but again I wanted to save that for another dress. Finally I started thinking of the bright pink color scheme, and started looking at deep pinks that I do have in my closet, possibly magenta. So as of right now, I am unsure as to what to have on the other side of the green fabric.
When browsing through the website I found another dress that piqued my interest, however, I immediately did not think about it further. It wasn’t until a few of my friends were talking about wedding dresses when I started thinking about what I liked and what I know would flatter me best I remembered the above dress and started envisioning it as a plausible “wedding dress”. Then again, when would I marry? Later I was browsing through all my older stories and remembered an old digital image of a dress in blue, in which the style was very similar to that of the above image and realized exactly what it was that I wanted:
One side of the floor length dress would be a deep blue/indigo color possibly into violet and the other side would be white or rather off-white/ivory and must look almost exactly like the white-ish dress above. I would also love a very light blue/lavender/light-silver blue sash to tie around my waist or to cover my shoulders. Heck I should probably have an underskirt created that is either a similar color to the sash or pure white… hmm. I’m actually a little excited about the two possible dresses and really when you find something that makes you feel beautiful, attractive and confident wouldn’t you just hold on to that and never let it go? I know I do.