Monday, 9 September 2013

Lana Turner inspired pearl dress for Miss Charlie Cooper

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to be asked to make a dress for the amazing soul singer Charlie Cooper for her new music video. After listening to her music and the amazing inspiration she sent me I knew it was a project I wanted to tackle.

The original inspiration for the costume is this elaborate beaded costume worn by Lana Turner in the film The Prodigal in which Turner plays the High Priestess of a pagan love cult that seduces a young man to forsake his fortune and future. It's main features being that it is pretty much not there at all, what little covering there is heightening the unbridled sexual allure beneath. So far, so sexy!

Taking our inspiration from this costume we sought to reproduce it reasonably faithfully, with adding in more pearl details of some of the other costumes from the film, this one we particularly liked:
So we decided to use the colour scheme of the first, and the fabric we didn't want our Charlie to feel naked on set but with the luxuriousness of the beading in the second to add more movement. This was my rendering of the final design:

Oh, I forgot to mention we only had a week to make this costume so it was all hands on deck. Luckily for me Zoe was well up for the hours of beading it was going to take while I concentrated on the pattern cutting, fitting and making of the foundation garment. Here is Zoe looking super happy doing her beading...
...while I sit back, drink my coffee and take a sly picture. (She loves me really!)

In the end I reckon our lovely Zoe strung around 7000 pearls for the skirt alone, so by the time we were done we were close to the 10,000 mark of pearly loveliness and quite near the ends of our tether. But it was worth it in the end!

And here is Charlie in our creation:

image kindly given by Charlie Cooper

We literally can't wait to see the video when it is finished being edited to see the full effect.

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