Miel d’Abeille

Eveningwear is my favorite to design, drape, pattern, and construct. I managed a bridal shop for three years, over on the West Coast in Everett, Washington. The dresses sunk deep into my psyche, handling their lush fabrics and rustling skirts each day at work. I loved the brides’ expressions as their faces lit up when I lifted the right dress over their outstretched arms and they wiggled their torsos into the boned bodices. Bustles, bustles, and more bustles; bustles make me tick. As you can see, this evening gown was partially inspired by bustles.

Here’s my write-up on the evening gown for my ITAA entry:

I wanted to make an evening gown that was both streamlined-sleek and geometrically voluminous. To include both a flat planar area and a billowy, three-dimensional one, I had to decide which parts of the dress should glide over and emphasize the body, and which parts should jut out and curve into space. I am attracted to geometric complexity that occurs in nature, and the honey-combed back bustled piece speaks to the intricate hives of bees. I found inspiration for the colors and textures from the transparent sheen evident in bee honeycomb structures with their dewy natural hues of golden amber and champagne. I like to think about cubby holes, or, negative spaces that occur from tailor-tacking two fabric points together. They suggest a sequestered, secret, darkened nook in which the mysterious is possible. The overall effect is a union between the traditional purpose of an evening gown to highlight curvaceous female beauty and the influence of adding unexpected geometry to make things more interesting.

The title of the dress, Miel d’Abeille, is French for “bee honey.”


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