Sunday, 6 September 2009

Bella De Jac's Black Marilyn Dress

Bella De Jac is one of the most hard working burlesque performers I have ever met. Not only is she the official burlesque dancer for Pulp Pres Publishing but this year she won 2nd place in the Best UK Newcomer at the London Burlesque Festival.

I first met Bella when she modelled for me at my first Club Smooch show in March earlier his year, and now I am happy to count her as one of my clients. I was especially excited when she approached me for her first costume which was to be a black version of the pink dress Marilyn Monroe wore in Gentleman Prefer Blonde's.


Many watches of Diamonds are a girls best friend frame by frame revealed many things about the construction and further research on the fashion designer Billy Travilla, revealed that the dress was made with only side seams, folded into place and secured with a belt. Woh!


It would have been vastly impractical to have made Bella a true remake so I made several concessions for the benefit of the costumes longevity and the practicality of Bella's performance. A side zip was added, and the dress was mould onto Bella's body using as few pieces as possible, and then the folds stitched into place to retain the shape. Th bow proved to be more of a challenge. We wanted a really big bow, and after several trial sizes in which the bow kept dropping over we found a size we could both live with. The original bow was stuffed with horsehair and ostrich feathers, but I had to be satisfied with some pretty stiff net for now.







Resources:
http://www.marilynmonroe.ca/camera/galleries/costumes/travilla/
http://www.travillatour.com/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7533476.stm
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