The ballgown class at NYFA is a coveted milestone. You have 30 days from start to finish to create and present a custom ballgown that fits you perfectly and meets the following criteria:
1. Must have sleeves.
2. Must have a skirt fabric circumference of 120".
3. Must have a defined waistline.
4. Must have a train that is atleast 12" long.
These were the three sketches that were presented for the Ballgown Class.
Euhedral (Chosen design!):
A striking geometric neoprene gown featuring LED lights, inspired by crystals found in a cave. Bodice is consisted of layers of black and grey neoprene with asymmetrical sleeves. One sleeve has geometric shapes folded down the arm, while the other is fitted and has crystal details at the shoulder. Skirt is comprised of crystal shapes made out of neoprene with some sides or crystals made from clear vinyl. The clear crystals will have LED lights installed in rainbow colors. The back of the dress will have an Arduino lily pad installed with a fabric switch to control the lights. Hoop skirt will be work to ensure skirt doesn’t collapse. Center back zipper.
Mossy green Cashmere wool gown with a lightly corseted bodice. Intricate gold leather Celtic knot work on bodice with mesh inlays at the top of bodice sleeves and shoulders. Celtic knot work in skirt and hem are inlayed in to the skirt. The top of the sleeve features a split gathered cap detail. Center back Zipper.
An intricate floor length ball gown featuring feathers, crinkle chiffon, crepe – back satin, and custom 3D printed wings and corset closure. Bodice is comprised of a flat corset with feather details that extend around the shoulders and up the neck. The back of the corset has a custom created lace boning that extends into wings. The wings also feature feathers and a chiffon cape. The sleeves are multilayered and features folded up sections that are buttoned back, to show off the duality of the crepe back satin. The skirt is comprised of wing shaped panniers that encase the hips completely covered with feathers. The rest of the skirt has intensely gathered crinkle chiffon. The bottom of the skirt will have a weighted chain sewn into the hem to give the dress unusual movement and sound when walking.
The dress is powered by a Teensy 3.1 and uses 20 Neopixel rings encased in a clouded vinyl chrystal with a neoprene border.
Sewing and finishing the seams in Neoprene was a really big hurdle that I had to overcome in the making of this dress. Cutting the material was like cutting into a marshmallow sheet so it was quite satisfying! The smell however was not! A combination of sewing and gluing went into the construction of the main body of the dress.
Figuring out the shape of the crystals was another challenge that took multiple trys to get it just right. After having the gown for a few months the crystals really take a beating from transport so they will likely need to be replaced before the next showing.
Wireing and soldering electronics was fairly new to me, so that was a learning opportunity! I found out later that I was using the wrong guage of wire so they started to come loose after the first presentation. I am currently working on updating the electronics that go with the dress. Luckily I made them removeable so that was some great planning on my part!!!