Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Eliza Dress - "My Fair Lady"

When My Fair Lady, the motion picture came out in 1964, I was still a baby and would never have guessed that in years to come it would become my personal reference for elegance and style. So when I decided I wanted to do a high society dress for a canine lady, nothing seemed more natural than to represent Eliza Doolittle in her Ascott Opening dress.

The tremendous costume designing of Cecil Beaton, whose visual contributions immediately impacted European and U.S. fashion trends touched my heart and I just had to do it! To bring Eliza back to life, in black and white canine couture style.

The Ascott scene / horse races is a fashion masterpiece! Many famous designers were invited to collaborate with Mr. Beaton in the biggest serious fashion display in Hollywood of all times.

The challenge was to do an entire scene in Black and White outfits. I invite you to watch one more time, the Ascott scene and be mesmerized by its phenomenal outfits.

French lace, Silk Shantung, and 100% pure silk, were brought with me from my travels to Europe. I would have nothing but the best for my Eliza. This dress was born during my flight back to the US and I sketched with passion for seven hours … it was the shortest and most enjoyable flight ever! :)No “blings” on this dress... just amazing elegance and phenomenal quality materials. The best money can buy!

For the bodice of the dress, highly textured french lace is embroidered in silk white ribbons, forming flowers. The lace is applied to a backing of black shantung to give it life and make it the lace stand out. The full, armed skirt is made from 100% Italian Silk in black and white stripes. It was quite challenging to arm this skirt. Interface, gave it the lift and volume it needed.

Eliza, required some special bows. An over-sized Shantung black and white bow nests two roses: One black and one white both carrying feather tails.

The black and white in this outfit represents the two Elizas... the Lady and the Flower girl. Hard to say, which one I love the most!

Ah, a hat! Must have a hat! One that would sit well on the tiny heads I was creating for! More than that, it had to be a comfortable fit, so a dog could really wear it.

My inspiration for the format of the hat, was totally equestrian. Inspired by the Horse Racing, I redesigned a Riding Top Hat! All in black and white of course with all trimmings a lady would desire. On the hat... a tribute to a Eliza's days as a Flower Girl and therefore, the only touch of color of this outfit.

It has been wonderful shopping for, designing and creating this dress! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did imagining and reinventing Eliza!

Professor Higgins would approved and Eliza would have danced all night!

Millie LaRue plays a beautiful Eliza!

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