Monday, July 31, 2017

Making the Star Dress Inspired by Hedy Lamarr

My theater group has had several photo shoots over the years. This year we wanted to do one based on tarot cards. I was very excited as I had a brilliant idea for an outfit. I decided I would do the Star, inspired by the glorious sparkling gown worn by Hedy Lamarr in Ziegfeld Girl (1941).

There are several other star dresses in the film. The one worn by Lana Turner is not quite as spectacular in my opinion.

And the one worn by Judy Garland is downright silly. That is a lot of tinsel!

So I decided to create an approximation of Lamarr's gown and headdress. Though, I simplified a lot of it.

I was lucky enough to find a white dress from a thrift store for 12 euros and then some light fabric that had already been decorated with small clusters of silver and gold stars. I also spent a small fortune on sequin and glitter glue. But the dress turned out very beautiful.

(I know it's hanging from a lamp, but I don't have a dress form so I had to make do. :) )

Since I had all these sequin and glitter, I decided to jazz up my fabric a bit and add some more stars in various sizes. Lamarr's dress seems to be decorated with sequin stars and then larger stars covered in sequin.

So I cut out a few smaller stars from Aida cloth and covered them with several layers of silver glitter glue. I then cut out paper stars and covered them with sequin using normal glue and glitter glue as adhesive. The effect was lovely, but it did take a lot of work.

The piece of poly fabric was attached to the gown around the collar and at the bodice. I miscalculated how much room my head would need, and ended up having to leave some fabric hanging loose in the back.

Originally I was going to sew on all the sequin onto the poly fabric but that was just taking too much time. So out came the glue and, miraculously, it held up rather well.

The headdress was made for me by my friend Lotta. She took a metal head band and attached wires to it. And to the wires she attached some stars cut out of silver paper and then covered with some silver glitter.

The makeup for this look is a mix of Lamarr's very 1940s look and my own desire to add glitter to everything.

I couldn't get anyone to take a photo of me as I was trying out the makeup, and so the best I could manage was this rather artsy photo of myself in a mirror.

The glitter around my eyes and on my forehead did not show in the picture, which is a shame becasue it looked rather nice in real life. I also attached some sequin to my face with eyelash glue but in the end decided to remove them as they looked a little silly with the gown.

I will post pictures from the photo shoot as soon as they are ready.  

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