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I have some exciting news…I’m entering the Shabby Apple Dare to Design Contest! Many of you are familiar with Shabby Apple Dresses; they are always exquisite!       

The guidelines were quite simple: Design a dress adhering to Shabby Apple’s design standards (i.e. no cleavage, hemlines to knee, and sleeves). Include fabric and color ideas, and explain your design inspiration. Lastly, make it appropriate for Spring.      

It was great to have so much creative liberty! Shall we get straight to the designs?      

Design 1:      

Front

 

Back

 

Front (left) and Back (right)

 

Front (left) and Back (right)

 

      

Inspiration: I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I love to travel! Earlier this year I was in France (Paris and Provence). It was an absolutely fabulous trip! This dress was inspired by a picture I took while I was in a tiny town in Provence named Arles.      

      

The picture made me remember just how small Arles is, and the restaurant pictured in the very left hand corner of the picture got me thinking…what would a woman wear to pick up her daily loaf of bread in this town? The design is a bit quirky, but very refined.      

Description: The main fabric is a lightweight cotton, solid periwinkle color, with a tad more blue in it than classic periwinkle (I was inspired by shutters in the picture with a similar color). The waistband is a slightly darker shade, with soft, translucent peach colored buttons (they are what appear to be dots in the sketches). The waistband reaches back and on the backside, crosses over to make an “x” shape. The buttons continue on this “x”, and end with a single button atop each shoulder. The overall effect is organic, as well as unexpected, showing off a little, but not too much back. Simple short sleeves and a hemline just grazing the knees finish off the design. It is an extremely universally figure flattering design, but it’s sure to be a unique piece in one’s closet!      

Design 2:      

Front

 

Back

 

Bow Detail in Back

 

Front (left) and Back (right)

 

Front (left) and Back (right)

 

Inspiration: I was inspired by a mood board I had made a while ago. The concept for the moodboard was black and vintage, but not gothic; rather, romantic (note the word “romance” on the board!). Yes, I did make it a little while ago, but it was compiled with the idea of timelessness.       

     

    

    

I created this moodboard in large part because I love classic pieces…what better way to create a classic piece than to gain inspiration from the past?    

     

Description: I envisioned the skirt portion of the dress to be full, but not too voluminous. The front looks quite demure, but then the back, like the last design, allows for a portion of the back to be exposed. This will be extremely flattering, not to mention an incredibly unexpected detail. The main fabric is a medium-to-lightweight black cotton with a subtle irregular black plaid print. The waistband, which hits at about the natural waist, is a solid black with white polka dots. In the back, the waistband ties for a full bow. This will be no average bow…instead, it will be full of life! The hemline just grazes the knees. The final design is one that would look fabulous in Spring, but ultimately is seasonless!    

     

Design 3:    

     

 

Front

 

Front Detail (note bow and ruffles)

 

Front with Proposed Color Scheme (similar, not exact)

 

Front with Proposed Color Scheme (similar, not exact)

 

Inspiration: Similarly to the first dress, I was inspired by some of my travels. This time, I was stirred by a photo I took while I was in Washington, DC earlier this year. It was taken in Arlington National Cemetary on a cold, rainy, Spring day. The flowers in the picture though are so perfect, you would never know.
Description: I immediately thought of a print when I saw this photo. The print I envision is composed of tiny (not super, super tiny, but small), not quite hot pink, pink flowers on a diagonal. The base of the print is a very light gray, giving the color scheme a modern edge. It’s a lightweight cotton. The style of the dress is a wrap dress, which is so universally flattering. A healthy sized bow is placed at the side seam. Large ruffles add interest along the neckline, but don’t distract.
 
All of these designs follow one of my favorite fashion quotes:

“Fashion fades, style is eternal.”     

~Yves Saint Laurent    

I’m confident that all of these dresses would never go out of style (well, maybe they would in a few hundred years, but still!). I think this is a standard that is evident in many of Shabby Apple’s dresses, so I’m sure these dresses would fit right in.    

Readers, I am SO beyond thrilled about this INCREDIBLE opportunity! I’ve spent a lot of time thinking through my designs, and couldn’t be happier! I hope you, too, like my designs!    

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