Los Angeles based designer Michelle Mason did a project with some of the students of my graduating class. Direction: Use black leather or olive pinstripe wool. Create "movie premiere" outfits. Gather design details and inspiration from the Edwardian and Victorian eras.
I think this is probably the most frustrating project I ever worked on. I won't go into the gory details, but I ended up making the final dress eight different times to get it just right. After the seventh try, I was ready to give up. I went to see my department chair, telling her I just couldn't get the dress perfect and I still had my Bob Mackie dress to finish and I still needed to leave in ten minutes to go to work. (I worked 3 different part-time jobs to support myself through school.) Not one of my finer moments. After a brilliant peptalk, I went to work, came back to the studio afterwards and started Michelle Mason 8.0.
Version 8.0 worked. Each panel is shaped so perfectly that you can see the body in it even on a hanger, but it softly molds to different bodies and it tucks in the waist to maximize the hourglass effect. It looks severe but sexy while showing very little skin. Okay, so I'm rather anal-retentive about my work. I think it's worth it in the end, even if I do end up losing some sanity points in the process.
From the first fitting, Version 3.0 had a row of hooks&eyes between each seam. If you look in the crook of the model's arm, you can see my eye and brow.
The runway shot's a little blurry, but you can see how well the dress molds to her body.
Here are some of the other sketches from that group.
A menswear look with a black leather operacoat:
Victoriana simplified to some key ideas (covered up and sexy with covered buttons):
Deconstructing the bustle: