Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I don't think enough people realize the options out there for reproduction clothing that is actually custom sewn to fit! My favorite of such sites is Whirling Turban.
Let me tell you about my experience: Katherine of Whirling Turban was an absolute DEAR, when I ordered my first dress. She helped me select the style (I chose the Hawaiian Heaven, mainly due to the clean line of the bodice) and fabric, keeping in mind the 1940's aesthetic I love, and made it very clear to me what I needed to do in order to get the proper fit. The website describes the measuring process in great detail (the company is based out of Bali, which is why they can offter custom creations like this, for only a fraction of what such companies in the US Market would charge) and let me tell you, it can be a humbling experience. What you are doing, in photographing yourself in your skivvies and trustingly sending said photos off to total strangers, is providing the dressmakers with an old fashioned 'dossier', befitting a Hollywood Starlet. The brilliant ladies will now have all of your measurements for future dresses/outfits and you have only done minimal work to provide them w/ those numbers. In the future, unless weight gain or loss is drastic, only minimal information will be needed in order to get your dress started and on its way.
The fabrics are available in a wide range of colors and textures; all of which are of the highest quality and impressively unique. The prints are STUNNING, to say the least. I chose a teal on navy floral motif, very Hawaiian...very Vintage. After my fabric was chosen and my measurements turned in, I received a gentle note from Katherine and Honey (another associate), informing me that they had all the necessary information and that I should now be patient while they do their 'stuff'. To be honest, the short weeks that passed were hardly noticeable...probably since it's starting to get cold here and the dress won't really be in season for some months.
Whirling Turban's Dresses are all impeccably designed. The Shaheen Dream, a tribute to fabulous designer-Alfred Shaheen, is one of their most popular designs. It beautifully and lovingly mimics his gorgeous sarong style wrap dress of the 1950's, also paying glorious attention to the curves of the female form. The dress can be customized w/ a full skirt, petal bust bodice, and removeable halter strap. Accessories like a coordinating wrap or bolero jacket (which I chose and psychotically love) are also available. The Hawaiian Heaven is a twist on the Shaheen style but has a simpler bodice instead of the wrap details accross the front. There are also 'Chinese Bombshell' options, featuring exquisite brocades that rival any I've seen. In addition, the ladies at WT offer seperates, darling playsuits, mens' shirts, and even sequin/rhinestone trims for a more glamorous look. Their wedding shoppe is phenomenal as well; don't overlook them if you are planning your own.
When I received my dress, I was first exhilarated by the sheer fact that it came in a BOX...a clean flat box-just like the dresses the ladies brought home in my favorite classic films! No bags for Whirling Turban. I felt instantly spoiled as I removed the ribbon. The dress was gorgeous...everything I thought it would be and more. I ran into my room to try it on and uh-oh...a problem! I couldnt get the thing zipped! I was almost devastated, to say the least, but I held back tears, held my breath, and looked more closely at the dress' construction. The zipper is extremely sturdy and the elastic panels at the sides of the design made it clear that there was plenty of give. So crossing my fingers (difficult while grasping a zipper), I tried again. It zipped! And amazingly, everything just kind of 'sucked' into place! My breasts sat obediently in their designated cups (nicely lined and super supportive, even w/out a bra), my waist was enviably small, my hips sleek and smooth. And here's the kicker: NO EVIDENCE that the dress was too tight or ill fitted. No rolls, no pinched areas...nothing. Is it difficult to breathe? A little. Do I care? Not a fig!
Incidentally, when I told Katherine about the fears I had when I tried on the dress, she stated there is supposed to be a sheet of paper included w/ the dress, explaining the possible necessity of having someone ELSE zip up the frock. Mine wasnt including that information, that I know of, so naturally I was a little worried.
In closing, I'll just say that I have yet to be as happy w/ any item of clothing I've worn...including my wedding dress. I feel so feminine, so desired by my husband, and SO thankful to Katherine and the girls for making all this possible! Look for a hairstyle inspired by my dress on my channel, Lisa Freemont Street, within the next two weeks.
'I've died and gone to Whirling Turban'.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The Diamonds and Dames series, for those of you who haven't been visiting my Youtube channel lately, is a series devoted entirely to your requests. The hairstyles will be based on movie characters from the past or from current retro-styled movies...and Mary Haines was the first challenge.
My hair is currently a little past shoulder length, so this very short style (a style using the 'shingle' haircut ) was difficult to mimic. However, I think we've come up w/ a somewhat successful alternative. The style was achieved using sponge rollers that will significantly draw up the length of hair. I alternated the sponge rollers (small to medium sized rollers) so that the curls would have more of a 'stacked' and natural appearance. Bobby Pins were used to additionally shorten the hair.
I hope you all enjoy it...and following is a synopsis of the film Mary Haines appears in...The Women.
Directed by George Cukor
Starring Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford.
The Women is an all-female account of marital infidelity, told in a sometimes comical, sometimes heartbreaking manner. Mary Haines is one of the social elite but unlike most of her peers, she happens to be in a very healthy and happy marriage as well. She and her husband Stephen have a daughter, little Mary, as well as material prosperity, social status, and love. Mary's 'paradise' begins to crumble however, when her conniving girlfriend Sylvia (scenery chewing Rosalind Russell), hears from a manicurist that Stephen Haines is 'stepping out on Mary'. Syliva and her friends spread the gossip mercilessly, which inevitably results in heartbreak. After a hurried divorce, Stephen resignedly marries the spiteful cat who led him astray, Crystal Allen (Joan Crawford). But Mary soon realizes that her love for her ex-husband is still strong enough to surmount any obstacle, including the world's disdain and her own pride. Along with her loyal friends and supportive mother, she goes on a mission to regain the relationship she cast aside and bring her family back together.