My model, Leslie Grace, getting her hair and make-up done for the show by Allure salon. I envisioned a theatrical version of the classic 1920s look.
The venue: The Crest Theatre, a very old and artsy place right in the middle of bustling downtown (well… as bustling as Sacramento gets) and some of my original sketches for the design.
The show was put on by Christina Marie of the Capitol Indie Collective as part of the Sac Film Festival.
Designers were paired with local restaurants at random, and the one selected for me actually happened to be one of my favorite Sactown spots! The Shady Lady Saloon is a 1920s inspired speakeasy style place with a cool vintage vibe, great food, and even better drinks. I wanted all of that to be represented in my gown.
The menu item I used as inspiration (also chosen at random) was the Shady Lady's "Hangar Steak Salad" a delicious main course salad with spinach, arugula, chevre goat cheese, onions, croutons, a mango vinaigrette, and all topped with a few slices of steak.
I used real spinach leaves, coated in varnish (to keep the color vibrant), and glued onto regular kitchen foil (so I could bend the leaves as I wanted), then hand stitched onto my dress' bodice.
The belt is the Saloon's logo from a stack of red cocktail napkins, cut and pasted onto thick paper, and hand sewn to the waist.
They gave us 2 weeks and a budget of $50 to work with. I knew from the beginning, I wanted to do a gown, so it was all a matter of working the various elements together: time period, cost, restaurant inclusion, and the food inspiration.
The had the models do a walk off for the Audience Choice vote and we won!
They next announced the top 3 winning looks and we got 1st Place!!! I had no idea what to expect going into the event but, wow, so thrilling to have won.
I got a fancy plaque, Bumble & Bumble hair products, and gifts from both Allure and Sharif jewelers (more on that later).
The competition was fierce - a lot of my friends from school participated including our "best of show" designer from this year's fashion show. The top the garments with their respective designers are shown above.
You can see in my sketch that I originally wanted my model to wear a fur around her shoulders but once the outfit was on, all she needed was the dress. So I wore the stole!
Faux, by the way; I got it for 99 cents at the Goodwill.
Images from Arlene Fleck Barshinger, Compassionate Wolf, Rich Baum, The Sacramento Film & Music Festival, and me!