Dress Obsession: Revolutionary Road and Kate Winslet

I watched the movie for the clothes.  I spent so much time analyzing the wardrobe and its wearability that I honestly can’t tell you what I think about the plot.  No idea.  The point is I *must* make this dress.

White works for me, I have an idea it’s the Tropical Answer to black.

 I like these pictures, if you click you can see beautifully human details on Kate like fine lines and freckles.  Maybe I’m nuts, but I tend to associate these “flaws” with beauty.  I also like the honesty of her physical proportions as revealed by this dress.  That’s what I like- the honesty.   She’s beautiful, yes, yet she bears resemblance to many other beautiful women I know.  Check out the link, it’s a series of paparazzi photos.  As someone who takes volumes of photos to come up with one fit to show on this blog, I can appreciate how she looks nice in every picture in the stream.

I see cut-on sleeves, big buttons (making them functional would be fun), a narrow scoop neck, and a fitted skirt.  I would probably peg it, though I’d leave the length.

Glammed up.  I love her un-made-up photos better”

(from The Reader, which made a bigger impact on me than Revolutionary Road)

I’m debating about fabric.  Medium weight linen springs to mind- it’s easy to sew, plentiful (here), and incredibly comfortable over a humid summer.  This dress is so distinctive, I feel it deserves a special fabric.  To me, simplicity of cut = complexity of fabric.  What about this bamboo/nettle?

I swatched this recently from bamboofabrics store.  Be still my beating heart.  It’s absolutely, 100% stunning, whiter than the picture and the stripes of nettle are about 3/8″ apart.  The ethics of production are exceptional and bamboo is insanely comfy. This fabric is the perfect weight and body for this dress.  The problem?  They’re out of stock until 2012.


That’s not so far away, but I would have to wait a few months.

I could use ordinary cotton sateen, but…. why?  Blah.

The same shop carries this bamboo, but compared to the nettle it’s rather meh.

I’ve been eyeing this hemp from NearSeaNaturals for the better part of a year, but the color holds me back. I swatched it and except for the oatmeal color, it’s great.  Off white makes me look ill.

I want to use an “ethical” fabric with a beautiful texture.  I find hemp, bamboo and silk work well in our climate, so prefer to use them for garments I want to wear for a decade.

How would you approach this dress?  Any ideas for gorgeously textured natural fibres?  I’m sure there’s plenty I haven’t seen.  Should I wait for the bamboo/nettle, or hurry up and make it already?  Don’t you love Kate’s pretty crinkly eyes?  Such a shame there’s not more photography of “beautiful people” that show those physical attributes.

And I have yet to begin obsessing over the buttons…..  I’d appreciate leads!

Movie: "Zwartboek" or "Black Book"

In the middle of drafting the Model T, stuffing dollies, and knitting a bit of lace, Husband brought me home a DVD.  An amazing dvd.  Those excellent arbiters of film who are an Australian institution, Margaret and David, give it a lukewarm review and a fairly decent explanation of the plot.

This is a fantastic movie for a vintage pattern loving nut who as a child longed to be part of the Dutch Resistance.   Despite what Margaret says, I think this is a well-made movie with a decent plot, good acting, and high production values; besides, I tend to side with David as a matter of course.  

The clothes!  I will watch absolute dreck if the clothes catch my eye.  These caught my eye not so much for their flashiness but for the way they conveyed the extreme end of “Make Do and Mend” chic that ruled Europe during WW2.  In fact, it’s almost like a MDAM booklet come to life.   The story follows Rachel Stein’s personal struggle through the war.  The movie feels very intimate, like reading a well-written diary of someone who lived through extraordinary circumstances and felt they shouldn’t leave out any details.

 Rachel wears her accessories in a range of different ways; I adore the scenes when she wears a stunning scarlet 1930’s evening gown.  I could picture it being exhumed from tissue paper wrappings at the bottom of a trunk in a dusty back room of a retail shop, or a rich woman’s abandoned attic.  She  spends some time playing with large fabric flowers before arranging them in her hair in a way that makes me want to rush out right now and bob my own hair. 

If there’s anything more elusively sexy and feminine than silk tap pants, I don’t want to know what it is.

The characters do dress a trifle shabbily, yet still appear well-put together: well groomed.   Not in a slick Hollywood way (this is a Dutch movie), but in a softer, “living” way.  Perhaps I tune in more to this sort of thing now than I used to, since I pin up my hair and “dress” nearly every day.  Perhaps as a Dutch film, it had a little more ring of truth depicting the universe as their grandparents knew it.   Somehow the clothes and idiosyncrasies of the characters spoke volumes to me of the gritty daily life in that time and place, it is one of those rare movies which illuminates history while entertaining.  

Not to speak of the style and styling tips I picked up.

{I can’t stand historically inaccurate movies and books.  Truss up 21st century language, manners and mores in red lipstick, fedoras, and garter belts?  How uninteresting.  No thanks, I’d rather stare at the wall.

I suppose I could be persuaded if the clothes delight me.}

Find it and check it out, it’s a great movie.  Brought to you by the director of Showgirls.  Yeah, I didn’t know he was Dutch, either.  Makes sense, now I think about it…

Next: A FO, I swear.  My butterflying tendencies mean projects take four or five times as long as they might for a normal person.  Alas.