Oct 3, 2010


Fashion Falls Apart - Our next guest judge was the second place winner in last year's CDDC. She is known for her creative use of many different fabrics. So this challenge will be all about the Fabric and your deconstruction of it. Your challenge is to design a Haute Couture garment in the newest hottest style of deconstruction. From ripped seams... to stringy hems ..to rumpled fabrics, slices of zipper and vandalized denim, this challenge is about how well you can design a garment in the deconstruction style while still keeping it Couture.
Guest Judge - Dal Lowenbein
My outfit:

The Judges have spoken:
Judith: Theme: 3, Originality: 3.5, Creativity: 4.5, Construction: 5
I find this gown particularly hard to judge because I know how much work went into making the fabric but the final design doesn't look deconstructed. I don't see many raw edges or any qualities of the design that would give a deconstructed visual appearance. It is however a beautiful gown with fabulous jewellery.

Rob: Theme: 3, Originality: 4, Creativity: 4, Construction: 4.5
I don’t care about your first or second attempt at this challenge that was wasted time writing and reading. Please try to keep your description concise and to the point, at least you didn’t write a book like some other entries. Ok on to the entry. It is a simple design and basic silhouette, but it is cute. I appreciate that you wove your fabric for the bodice. I don’t see many deconstructed elements in the fashion. I can see a little, but I think you could have pushed it further. I am not sure the skirt meets the bodice well in the back on one side, but it could just be the photograph, so I give you the benefit of the doubt. Overall it is a pretty fashion and the turban works for this one. I think you can push yourself further outside that comfort zone, by this time in the contest I expect to see more. Make something spectacular that will amaze us!

Tom: Theme: 4, Originality: 3, Creativity: 2, Construction: 4
One man’s trash is another man’s haute couture. I don’t get deconstruction from this. That being said, like 16, this is a lovely dress. I really like the bodice, but would have like to have seen it better resolved at the center back…that being said…because the back isn’t neatly resolved, it actually works better for the theme of this challenge, albeit not as pretty as the front.

Dal: Theme: 4.5, Originality: 5, Creativity: 5, Construction: 4.5
I adore the bodice treatment. Very beautifully “constructed” from deconstructed fabric. Not sure if the structured design of this entry constitutes true "Fashion Falls Apart”. I do get the Asian inspiration and love the mystery and drama of your color choice. I could see a couture collection coming from this entry but do not feel it fulfills the challenge as well as I know you could have. Stunning design, great styling and perfect presentation.

Total: 63,5/80 Ranking 3th in the overall competition; 4th in this challenge.

I'm back from holiday on September 22 and I had only 4 days for creating the outfit for this challenge. It was difficult, but how showed the results not me one =)

I have not had time to deal with the concept of deconstruction, so I considered it as a rethinking. How we were taught in high school, deconstruction from Lat. de (back) + constructio (build) or Rethinking, but not destroy.

My first idea was the outfit around the skirt with asymmetrical edges, made from ragged fragments. I decided to abandon the idea after making several such details, as it was more like “trash” than Haute Couture.

When I worked on the second option, I focused on the construction. As a result, I created a very interesting pattern consisting of complex geometric shapes.

But this idea also did not result in a finished costume, as I was fascinated by a new one.

The Muse is strange. You never know where she'll find you. I was in the cinema and watched Sounds of the Universe movie which is a music film about the Depeche Mode concert tour. At some point, I was an old Hindu on the screen. And I remembered: some years ago, I saw the program on the National Geographic channel about Asian dyers of silk. In order to achieve motley colors, they get solid piece of fabric, twist it into a tight plait and lower it into the bowl with paints of contrasting colors...

I was fascinated by this idea, and I decided to use it to have the effect of accordion-pleated fabric.
Back home I took a long piece of chiffon, wet it, twisted into a tight braid, held it in the boiling water for a few minutes and left it to dry until morning. The next day, when it dried up, I treated it with hot steam and let it out (synthetic fabric deforms from heat). The result pleased me and I did the same with the blue one.

This was the first step in the deconstruction of fabric. But it seemed to me too little for the theme. I tore the finished fabric into strips 2" wide, then folded it 4 times and sewed on the inner side.

I intertwined the resulting ribbons with each other, finally having new fabric for the bodice.

For the skirt, I made strips 4" wide, cut them into rectangles and created freestyle frills.
The Eastern-style turban and jewelry are tribute to asian women who inspired me.

When I did this outfit, I have not slept more than 40 hours and finished an half hour before the deadline. Oh what it was fun!
I set the alarm to the timer in every 15 minutes on the remaining 2 hours. My husband wrote a description for outfit as dictated by me. When the remaining half hour, I quickly cleared the place for the photo studio, fast made a few photos, resized, and sent them before 3 minutes to deadline =))

I hope that is not will happen again, and the remaining challenges will I do in normal working conditions!


Challenge Two - The "Alice" Challenge

Our next guest judge designed the fabulous Alice companion doll for the IFDC 2010 Convention. David took Alice and while keeping her original style, moved her into the 21st Century. Your challenge has been inspired by David's creation and by the FIDM SuperLab challenge earlier this summer: Super Lab Challenge
Choose a character from children's literature(now I say children's because most of the heroes/heroines of children's literature have a distinct style that you can build on) and keeping their colours and style, design them a fresh new look, that is in keeping with their style.
Guest Judge - David Buttry

A General Comment for all Designers from Rob Thompson: The name of this contest is the Couture Doll Design Challenge. That means you are expected to design and create couture fashion. Anyone with a desire and supplies can make doll clothes, we are looking for couture designs. Don’t make “mall clothes” and expect to get high scores. This is not a ready to wear contest. Regardless of the level of your sewing skills your goal in the contest should be to make couture. Make sure you understand each challenge; fully understanding each challenge and sticking to the rules of the challenge are the only way to earn points. Even if you don’t like the challenge, complete it to the best of your ability. If you don’t meet the challenge rules, you are wasting your time and the judges time. If we didn’t challenge you to stretch your skills and work outside your comfort zone, it wouldn’t be a contest. A challenge is not supposed to be easy, it is supposed to make you think, research, and learn. You should strive to bring originality and creativity to your design. You should be focused on details, making a simple dress for a large scale doll is not a challenge. There is no excuse for shortcuts and lack of detail, especially if you are working with a larger scale doll.

A General Comment for all Designers from Tom Courtney: I had some issues with contestants taking an already literal vision for the character – Dorothy’s red slippers – Belle’s golden gown – etc. – and building his/her inspiration from that. I tried to not let it affect me too much (because the challenge was to keep their colours and style – which isn’t always identified in a story), – but the inspiration was to come from literature…and the character…and I didn’t see this as going straight to someone’s else’s design interpretation to create their look – I felt this was a bit of a cop-out. But because this wasn’t specifically precluded…I tried to not let it temper my scoring too much.

My choice is The Blue Fairy from The Adventures of Pinocchio, C. Collodi.

“…As knocking was of no use, Pinocchio, in despair, began to kick and bang against the door, as if he wanted to break it. At the noise, a window opened and a lovely maiden looked out. She had azure hair and a face white as wax…”

The Adventures of Pinocchio, C. Collodi.

I had a few fairytale heroes in mind for this Challenge. I opted for the Blue Fairy from “The Adventures of Pinocchio”, C. Collodi when it became clear that the outfit should not be an evening gown or a ball gown, but it should be the clothes of an old hero with a modern twist.
I think, if the Blue Fairy was a modern girl, she would be dressed Lolita style. Bows, laces, thingies and spectacular skirts - it's so magical!
I create a lot of evening dresses. But I never managed to sew something in Lolita style, it never felt right for me. And I said to myself - this is my chance! This competition pushes us further, makes us go beyond the usual boundaries. I had a very powerful incentive and I did it.
I kept the main features of the Blue Fairy: sky-blue hair and clothes of the shades of blue. I recreated the old clothes in a new modern way.
My outfit consists of a cambric blouse decorated with laces and satin ribbons, accentuated by a blue cameo brooch. The skirt is double-layered, the top is made of Dupont silk, and the lower part is of cotton with ruffles of nylon net.
There are also blue nylon stockings and cambric knickers.

Judith: Theme: 5, Originality: 4, Creativity: 3.5, Construction: 5
Pretty version using modern styling to refresh this heroine. Good use of detail and the net frilling under the skirt keeps the fairy like quality alive in the outfit. A fresh new look that's in keeping with the Blue Fairy's styling.

Rob: Theme: 5, Originality: 4.5, Creativity: 4.5, Construction: 5
Very cute, and very well done. I can totally see the blue fairy in your design, and Momoko was the perfect choice of doll to use. I love the gentle flair of the sleeves of your blouse, and the delicate trim. I also like that you pushed yourself to create a “Lolita” style that you have never done before. The skirt is cute, I prefer a shorter more full skirt for “Lolita” styles, but yours does work. Your styling is very nice, and the hose you made are perfect. I also like that you made bloomers for her to wear under the skirt! That is very “Lolita”. I know Momoko is not the easiest doll to fit, and you fit her perfectly. The finishing is well done and clean. I love the amount of detail that you put into such a small scale. This is one of the better updates for the challenge, and I feel that you actually understood the challenge. Very good job, I am looking forward to seeing more from you. I am so glad you didn’t stick wings on her!

Tom: Theme: 5, Originality: 5, Creativity: 4, Construction: 5
Love it. Not getting ‘Lolita’ as much as I am ‘Western’…but nevertheless…I can see the blue fairy wearing this. The styling is adorable…and little details work with the whole. I admit…I had to look up ‘cambric’. You lost a point with the knickers…because I don’t see them anywhere on the model (maybe that’s the point?)…and because I don’t know a single woman that wears pantalettes anymore.

David: Theme: 4, Originality: 4, Creativity: 4, Construction: 5
Beautiful garment, loved the translation but I personally would have liked to have seen a nod to wings so it pushes the idea a bit and reads that she is the blue fairy and not just a pretty girl in Lolita.
Total: 72,5/80 Ranking 3th in the overall competition; 3th in the challenge.

It was a very interesting theme for me. I love fairy tales and dreaming to make a series of costumes by the Russian folk tales.
It's my favorite painting by V.M.Vasnetsov - Ivan-Tsarevitch and Grey Wolf:

Some painting by the Russian folk tales, which inspire me:

My favorite porcelain figurine from childhood - the Mistress of Copper Mountain:

Lol, so happens that the blue color is associated for me with the tale. And this is one of the reasons my choose the Blue Fairy, the second reason was a world famous character.

When I knew the theme the second challenge, the first my thought was: I'll be doing the Blue Fairy. Despite the fact that my past attempts to make the dress in the style of Lolita ended in failure, in this time it was made without problems for 4 days.

One shot of a preliminary fitting:

One of the interesting moments: I hadn't a blue satin ribbon 1 / 16, so I took the tape 1 / 8, folded it in half and iron down it.

Special great thanks to Yana Emelyanova for the fabric, blue silk of a skirt it her gift!

Unfortunately I didn't have a time for a good photosession. Barely I finished to sew outfit, I quickly photographed it, packed the dolls and camera, and we run to our car that to drive on holiday.
But we have brought very beautiful photos from holiday. But we have brought very beautiful photos from holiday. You can see 16 pics in my site>>> :
Me and my Blue Fairy: