by admin on December 13, 2011

atelier with ocean scene

esme is finally coming down from the excitement of the morning, which included the final exam for our fashion class. this took the form of a fashion show put on by each group to showcase their creations.  never in a million years would esme have imagined constructing a fashion show, much less designing a haute couture gown!  however, i am here to tell you (with all due modesty) that i think we did a bang-up job.  we certainly had a terrific time doing it!

model (at rest)

there was oceanic music playing in the background, beautiful ocean scenes projected on a screen, esme narrating how the atelier evolved, and our incredible model strutting down the runway.  in the future i may be able to post a few snippets caught on video, but for now you’ll just have to read esme’s narration and check out a few photos she managed to capture near the end.  and that’s just the beginning:  keep your eyes peeled for future posts about the other amazing designers in the class!

here’s what esme had to say, in her best dramatic voice:


 Atelier de la Mer started out as a loose association of 7 Monterey Peninsula College students.  What we had in common was a love of fashion and a sense of excitement about designing our own garment.

 Our initial meeting was focused on the question “what should we design?”   At first we imagined a prom dress.  This quickly evolved into a more sophisticated special occasion gown. 

 Our target customer would be a woman, aged 28-35, independent in spirit, with a high-paying job which would allow her to afford a fabulous dress, and  have occasions to wear such a dress.  We imagined she might wear it to holiday parties, corporate functions, fund-raising events, weddings, and the like.

    The image of a MERMAID sparked all of our imaginations.   Mermaids are beautiful,  feminine, compelling, yet unattainable.  They attract men, but don’t need them.  They bridge the worlds of land and sea.  They are both human and mythic.  Blue, green, white and silver are their colors.

    Once we embraced the mermaid theme, the dress design seemed to fall into place as if by magic.  A fitted bodice, topping a filmy, flowing skirt.  One of our members sourced a perfect silver tank dress from forever 21.  This could be deconstructed to serve as the bodice, while the skirt could be constructed of tulle and semi-sheer metallic silver fabric. 

    In the meantime, we learned that the editor of VOGUE was forecasting “water water everywhere” for spring and that her stylist was quoted as saying “I see the sea.”  The cover of the December VOGUE showed…what else?….a woman emerging from the ocean in a silvery gown!

    We toyed with different ideas for the neckline—sweet-heart?  Open back?  We experimented with hemlines.  Our intrepid seamstress removed a zipper as we held our collective breaths.  Finally, the fabulous creation you see here emerged from the sea of our imaginations and stepped boldly on to the land!

 Note the form-flattering bodice in silver shot through with black.  See how the silver trim entwines the body like seaweed. How lovely our model’s skin looks against this fabric.  And yet the metallic quality of the cloth recalls ancient armour, and warns the viewer to “look but don’t touch!”

    The skirt, by contrast, fashioned from layers of pewter organza and white and black tulle, is delicate, feminine, flirtatious.  Might it be as evanescent as sea foam, vanishing at the touch?  Indeed, we can only wonder whether our mermaid will stay upon the land, or is she destined to return to the sea?


ok readers, we’ll be taking orders starting…..tomorrow (just kidding)!





{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: