Doing the Most 32 Birthday Celebration

I’ll be thirty-two this year and after reflecting on my life I realized that I don’t get many opportunities to dress to the nines and tens and elevens. Formal events tend to disappear if you aren’t graduating high school, a successful entertainer, a politician, a wealthy fundraiser, or a member of a Mardi Gras krewe. So in the spirit of living my best life I’ll be making as many of these opportunities happen even if they don’t really call for it; starting with my birthday celebrations in just over a week. Behold my vision:

 I had such trouble with the skin on this one after I used the wrong blending marker (Copic), but this is as good as it's gonna get folks. Illustrated with Shin Han markers, Staedler ergo soft color pencils, graphite pencil, Faber-Castell liner pens, hope, prayer, and anxiety on Canson Marker paper, 18lb bright white

I had such trouble with the skin on this one after I used the wrong blending marker (Copic), but this is as good as it's gonna get folks. Illustrated with Shin Han markers, Staedler ergo soft color pencils, graphite pencil, Faber-Castell liner pens, hope, prayer, and anxiety on Canson Marker paper, 18lb bright white

I was inspired by the beautiful ball gowns of the 1950s from the likes of Dior, Givenchy, and Edith Head . I’m bringing out the opera length gloves and if time permits a headdress and evening cape or stole. As usual it took me forever to decide what I wanted to do, so this gown is being made under duress. I think I’ll be able to pull it off. It will be my prime focus until it’s done so I went with a fairly simply design. There’s no boning to fiddle with and I won’t bother with lining the train, but will do a faced hem. The peplum will be self-faced with horsehair braid sandwiched in to emphasize and stiffen the shape. There will be a low back and invisible zipper closure. I plan to use taffeta however my supplier is having some shipping issues and as of this writing my city is shut down due to inclement weather so going out to find what I need right now is not happening. This definitely means this whole vision may be scrapped depending on what I find when I go to the only fabric store still open in town. I know. Damn shame. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
 

Beauty

 Image | Essence, July 2009

Image | Essence, July 2009

 
 

As for my makeup I want to keep things very clean looking as the rest of me will be doing all of the most. Mannequin hands hopefully care of Zoya’s Spencer nail lacquer and lips from something I already have in my kit. I plan to throw on some lashes and am looking for something fluttery and precious but not so much that it overtakes my small eyes. I’ll do a soft brown smokey eye and just a kiss of golden peach blush on my cheeks. I’ll share that look once it’s done but see my inspiration from Ursula Stephens. I will not look like this model but the overall effect is what I’m going for.

For my hair I plan to build a hairpiece and wear a faux bun and braid with the only part of my natural hair showing at the base of the style since I’m still very much in Hair Rehab. I’d like to decorate it with a headdress or ornament but haven’t decide on what that will be. Flowers? Tailored ribbons? No clue. Whatever it will be, if it will be, is dope.
 

Accessories

Lastly are shoes, gloves, and evening cape. I have shoes but I don’t have 32nd birthday shoes. However, my budget is slim so likely I won’t be able to get anything special this year, but I’m still perusing in case something comes up. I’d love a brocade ankle boot in red and white or a satin lace up something or other, yet my imagination and what’s available on the market rarely intersect. As of now it’s a very low priority. The gloves I'll order online. As for the evening cape, that may not happen, but if I'm able to get most of the dress done this weekend then the cape looks more likely. I have no fabric in mind; I'll just see what hits me when I get to the store and whether or not I can afford it. 
 

Updates

I likely won’t be doing progress posts for the construction of the gown as I need to get it done as quickly as possible in a week while working a full time job elsewhere. I’ll only be drafting a pattern for the bodice and the peplum. Everything else is cut and drape. If am able to put together a progress post keep an eye here in the Design Studio or on Instagram. Wish me luck!