Ruching and Leather – Perfect together.
This curvy, ruched leather dress kinda brings me back to when I first started to design and make things. I was a kid when I first started designing, and my first “customer” was my Sister.
While I was very petite and skinny, my sister was everything I wanted to be when I grew up – super outgoing (an actress) and even better, super curvaceous! (Can you guess I grew up with old school Barbie Dolls?) I made her some gorgeous ruched pieces – but she never got a ruched leather dress.
I loved making clothes and costumes for her and as a result, I really learned how to work with SHAPE! Having grown up (realizing early on to appreciate my own, very different, body type!) and moved into fashion – I know first hand how out-of-touch with reality standard “fashion” sizes are.
For my runway shows and lookbook shoots, I was always fighting to get models who were NOT the runway standard (5’11” & 98 pound) coat hangars. I always asked for curves – any curves! And I always requested “short” girls when casting (short, being any girl under 5’10”) I always tried to aim for girls 5’7″- 5’8″) It was always a struggle when dealing with a fashion agency. Just those two request were so out of range – they acted as if a girl 5’7″-8″ was midget! I certainly don’t miss it!
(Although…20 years ago, when my business was young, I have to say those teeny sample sizes made my budget go a lot further!)
Anyhow, this Ruched Leather Dress, is a great SHAPE piece.
And like most pieces that really look GREAT on the body, this leather dress has basically no hanger appeal. (You know they design for that, don’t you? It’s just one reason why FIT has gone by the wayside in RTW)
My gorgeous client came in with just the idea of the ruching – she knew the shirring technique was flattering to her curves. Not to mention, super sexy! I did a couple of sketches and rendered the one she liked in a soft stretch lambskin, with a stretch silk lining. Because it’s a 2 piece leather outfit, it can be worn as a dress or as separates. Voilà!
I may be putting a version of this ruched leather dress into my made-to-order range- stay tuned.