Friday, September 15, 2017

My Custom Prusa Dress - The Presentation, and a Bigass Bunch of Pictures

A quick edit (because I couldn't do this until the posts...posted): 

To read about my custom dress in order of when we first started in April 2017, 
start  at #1 here
then go to #2 here
then go to #3 here
then come back to the final post, this post!


Dress Delivery – 8-9-17
Tonight, Chloe dropped the boxes off. Not one, but TWO boxes! L had the guys over for game night, so I slowlllllly…opened each box and photographed everything as I was taking it out and examining it. The first thing was the envelopes, one with the final invoice, which L paid as his birthday present to me, plus a tip, from both of us, so that Chloe could buy herself something that she wouldn’t be able to afford as a student otherwise. In full disclosure (and for my future records), the full cost of the dress came to $1,500 + a $200 tip. Worth every penny!
You'll be famous one day!
 Chloe was wonderful to work with - she's a lovely person inside and out - and this was a truly rewarding collaborative experience.
Lovely presentation!

Because we’re totally counting on Chloe being FAMOUS (I hope she becomes famous and I can loan this to the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art!), she did a letter on her PRUSA stationery, that says,
“Dearest Sheila,
I had such a wonderful time making this custom piece for you. You have been so much fun to work with. Thank you for being the greatest client. I hope you enjoy this piece. I know you will rock the hell out of it.
Chloe Prusa [signed]”

Under the letter and invoice, the first things I saw were the circles of the insides of the bell sleeves – that gorgeous silk brocade! 

From there, I opened the dress out and gasped at the beading and embroidery. She’d cut flowers out of the brocade and appliqued them to the front of the dress, with dozens of little seed beads and larger beads all over the bodice – even the back had this detailing!


There was the little gold plaque (“PRUSA”) on two chains (the peplum has one as well), and even a small leaf added to the inside of the lining as an extra detail. You know I am all about The Detail! Smartly, she’d added a hidden zipper to the bottom of the rear hem to make the slit as large as needed for walking.



In the second box was a tiny bag, made of the same dress fabric and lining, filled with all the notions and beads not used, in case of future repairs. Aw! 
What a thoughtful thing to do!

It's like she knows I'll somehow do something to the dress...

And then there it was, the peplum!
It's very large!
Gorgeous fabric.


Of course, I had to try it on (even though it’s August and I’m sweaty)! We took a few pictures and I put on the Vivienne Westwood Anglomania + Melissa shoes (probably the best shoes I own for this dress…right now!) for a couple of auto-timer pictures. Sorry for cutting your head off, Chloe!
 
Happy designer + happy customer!

A good view of the high-low peplum there.
And there we go! I will probably tidy this 6-page Word document up a bit and post this when L and I are taking time off in October – I totally won’t be able to wait any longer, certainly not till my party in October! [edit: time off is in September!]

"We can take more pictures later!"
 I was so excited, I had to put it on right away and parade around for the (not very) impressed gaming dudes in my living room.
Yes, I am feelin' it!
 I just can't take it all in!
So awesome!

Chloe, thank you so much for this beautiful dress! I love it and will treasure for as long as I live. What a wonderful birthday gift to me...from myself, from L and from you. Thank you.

* * *
Some more pictures below, taken by L in August, and a few more detail pictures by me...

I haven't done my hair for these pictures, but here's a look at the four variations of the sleeves and peplum. L doesn't have a lot of patience (which is why I use a timer on all my blog photos), and it was a bright sunny day. So, your forgiveness for the photo quality - I am not a professional blogger!
 Sleeves on, peplum on. Our driveway rock wall, with reflected light off our building.

I have Major Sleeves!
 I just love the unexpected details of the beading and the contrasting fabric linings. I tied the peplum in a bow at the back for this look.
Looking at our neighbours' cars
 The full sleeve + peplum is a bit much - this is my least favourite of the four different looks I can create from this dress. Although I do still love this, don't get me wrong! Nothing exceeds like excess, ha!
Didn't mean to have a truck in the background...
 I would totally wear all of the pieces like this for a fancy event!

 Hands in pockets, check out that peplum action!

 L and I moved down our driveway, but the shadows mess with the colours.

Bright sunlight is not much better, but at least you can see it all.
 Peplum off (L wore it over one shoulder, what a trooper!). I really like how this looks. This is my favourite look.
 It shows off the beadwork and applique work that Chloe did.

Back upstairs, carefully remove the sleeves...and...
 Peplum back on! This my second favourite look.
 Hands in pockets. The peplum is tied in front this time.

 You are not imagining it - the peplum is lower in the back than the front.

 Easy to take off!
 And there we have the last of four looks: sleeves off, peplum off. This is my 3rd favourite iteration.
The little gold tag is hanging out there - klassy!

 Badass ink and a badass dress!

Thanks to L for taking pictures!

A couple more details shots. When I put the sleeves back on, I realized in a panic that I couldn't tell them apart! I had to go back through my "Yay, I have sleeves!" pictures and look at the inner lining of the bells to figure out which sleeve went on which side!
Sorry, Chloe!
 I had to mark them for future reference.

The beautiful beadwork.
 Crystal beads, more sodalite stone beads, the seed beads and the applique work on the back.
 What a piece of art!
The inside lining (not a visible seam edge anywhere!), and there's another little extra piece of hidden detail - another applique inside to stop the zipper.

This is the detail work on the front.
 So much work! I so appreciate this attention to detail.

A full look at the peplum's inside:
That single yard of the damask went a long way!

* * * 
That's it, my friends! I hope you enjoyed the surprise of these posts! I'll be back on Sunday with a wrap-up of my adventures during my blogging time off. See you then! 

52 comments:

  1. Amazing. That is stunning workmanship.

    Seeing it arrive in the boxes makes me think wistfully of when many women were able to go to local dressmakers or tailors for custom-made clothing. Far fewer pieces, but each one a memory.

    Kudos to both you and Chloe! And happy birthday. I'll be 50 in 2018--no plans to rival yours, though.

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    1. Thank you, S! It was a real treat to have it all boxed like this - it really made it so special. Thank you!

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  2. STUNNING! GORGEOUS! WOW! That girl has TALENT and you look FANTASTIC in it!

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  3. Wow! You look amazing in your new special dress, Sheila! The beading and applique are exquisite and the way you can change up the look with taking the sleeves and peplum off is genius! Beautiful! XXX

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  4. Stunning!!!! Wear it as much as u can!!!! So incredible. I love the rich detail, fabric, textures... You look amazing <3

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  5. That is such a beautiful dress and reminds me of your artwork you like to do...Chloe did an amazing job...such attention to detail! Fun posts while you took a break! Looking forward to having you back!
    sp

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    1. Thank you so much - yes, Chloe really got "me". I'm back!!

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  6. WOW! That's a stunning piece of art and the perfect b-day gift. The colours look great on you, the beading and applique work is exquisite, and versatility takes this dress to a whole new level. You could even wear the peplum skirt with the pattern on the outside...? Or wear it as a cape maybe? The sleeves, oh yes! Chloe is a true talent!

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    1. Thanks, Mel! I'm so pleased with it, and I'm definitely going to try doing different things with the peplum (maybe even over another dress altogether??).

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  7. Sheila, that is so beautiful! I wasn't entirely convinced by the blue earlier in the process, but absolutely adore what Chloe has done with the appliqué and beads and those tiny tiny beads!

    I can't wait to see how you wear it at your party - I'm guessing that it won't just be one way 😃

    Hope you're enjoying your break x

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    1. Thanks, Tat (great to see you!). I will probably only wear it one way for the first party (oh yes, there will be more than one!). Thank you!

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  8. It is an absolutely beautiful dress. It is just as gorgeous in all of its permutations;it looks stunning on you.

    What exquisite detailing and work(wo)manship has gone into the dress.You must be so proud. I sincerely hope Chloe becomes famous, too!

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    1. Thank you so much, Vronni! I'm so proud of Chloe for all the work she did on it.

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  9. Mazal tov on the dress! The collaboration between you and Chloe was the foundation for a truly spectacular creation! You will enjoy this work of art for many years to come.

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    1. Thank you, Linda! It was truly an amazing experience.

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  10. Wonderful! This is really absolutely stunning, the overall idea and the details are all fantastic. Like Melanie I was thinking the peplum might work brocade side out as well...

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    1. Thanks, Radostin! I'm going to try the peplum a few ways, I agree!

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  11. I am floored and agog at the phenomenal crafting of your dress! Chloe has launched with you as her - I am certain - most supportive, collaborative, and encouraging customer! The dress is LOVELY and the fact that there are so many possible ways to wear it just makes it ever lovelier and fun to wear. All simply stunning!

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    1. It's really beautifully made, isn't it? I really love it.

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  12. And PS you look splendid! I look forward to seeing pictures of your first outing in the dress, when you have your hair, makeup and accessories all crafted to highlight you and your fabulous new dress!

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    1. Thank you, Laurie! I'll make sure the rest of me is as good as the dress when I wear it "for real."

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  13. So beautiful! Congratulations to Chloe for her fabulous workmanship and creativity. You look stunning in the dress -- what a wonderful collaboration.

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  14. WOW! Just WOW!! Can't wait for the party post.

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  15. Amazeballs!! A spectacular dress from a great collaboration. Even her real name, Prusa, already sounds like a famous designer! Enjoy, enjoy wearing this. With the peplum and ruffled sleeves, it looks like you should be doing twirls in it.

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    1. Thanks, Gerrilyn! I know, she's destined to reap fame and fortune! I will be twirling for sure!

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  16. Thank you for this series and for sharing the creative way you chose to commemorate your 50th. It has brought me a lot of joy and pleasure seeing this process. Chloe's undeniable talent and exquisite attention to detail with your love of fashion and art made for a spectacular dress. I can't wait for your birthday and the many ways you'll enjoy wearing this piece of art.

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    1. Thank you, Chalotalo! I want to be able to look back on this and remember everything about it. I'm so happy I decided to do this for myself.

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  17. Congratulations to both of you Sheila and Chloe! Do you realise that this dress is so incredibly beautifully made that you could wear the peplum inside out as well? You look a total knock-out in that dress Sheila. Warm regards, Leanne xxx

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    1. Thank you, Leanne! I think I probably can wear the peplum like that - I certainly intend to try it!

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  18. Wow, that dress is stunning, Sheila! I love all the exquisite details. What a great way to celebrate your 50th! xxx

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  19. Sensational. Thank you for sharing every detail in growth of this beautiful dress. It's so versatile. Wear it every chance you get and I hope it's many.

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    1. Thank you, Julie! I will wear it a lot over the years, I'm sure.

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  20. This is stunning Sheila! What a gorgeous dress. It is so very you and such an incredible birthday gift - I think a custom made dress to meet your needs is a dream for many people, and you've achieved it. Chloe is incredibly talented, and she had an awesome customer in you.

    The embroidery and beading are so nice but it's hard to pick a favourite thing about this dress - it looks great in every way it's worn and there are so many incredible things to love on it.

    You're sure to have a very happy birthday in this dress!

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    1. Thank you so much, Mica! I'm so pleased with it, excited to wear it, and I'm looking forward to showing it off!

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  21. I have enjoyed every moment of this series. Because of the awesome artistic process AND because my maiden name is Prusa. Chloe definitely does the family name proud - beauty and talent, wowza!

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    1. Thanks so much, Mary! Wow, another Prusa! Fame by proxy - hee hee!

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  22. Wow the results are outstanding ! I loved all those last pictures where you show the different options. The Sheila will be a success !

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  23. Absolutely beautiful. I love love love it! Enjoy wearing this beautiful piece of art!! You look stunning in it-all versions!!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Charlotte! I can't wait to wear it for real!

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  24. What a spectacular gown you've created Sheila. My favourite version has to be the full monty with both peplum and sleeves - I think the balance works perfectly. The dress truly is a work of art and of course, is totally unique. Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing this step by step process.

    Anna x

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    1. I'm inclined to agree - I must wear it at least once with all the pieces!

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  25. OH MY GODS!!!!! Finally I get my act together to check out this FABULOUS dress. Oh Sheila, it couldn't be more YOU. It transforms - I'm all agog over here. It is absolutely the most beautiful creation. All versions are too amazing but I think I'm going with other comments on the full monty as my fave. I can't wait to stand beside this dress!!!! Love you Honey. xoxoCarolyn

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    1. I'm so glad you caught up, hon! I wish you were going to be there on Friday so you could see it in person. I'll just have to wear it again!

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  26. This is bettter designed and engineered than most cars! I am loving each detail, and the amazing versatility of this super glamorous piece. The first pic of th sleeves in the box, well , you had me there at
    HELLO DRESS ! Every choice is perfect, love that the sleeves come off, and that peplum, the lining, the gorgeous cobalt blue.
    Amazing!! You will rock this baby !
    💙
    🌸❤️🌸
    Elle
    https://theellediaries.com/
    New site is up finally, but needs some work !

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    1. Thank you, Elle! It's truly an amazing piece, and you would be boggled at it in person.

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Cheers,
Sheila