Who Shot My Pleating Heart?

 Thinking back on the inspiration for the garments in the Tough Love Collection, it stretched from just about every tangent one could imagine. Though all of the looks have common roots, they have very specific inspirations.                                    




  This garment is my BABY! You know how no mother can really chose her favorite kid, but the baby always gets the most attention?? Well, that’s how I feel about this garment with regard to the rest of the collection. Perhaps that’s why it took me so long to assemble a cohesive explanation for what inspired this one.

    Anyone who knows me knows that I am a fan of ‘all things Dallas’, but especially the TV series DALLAS itself. I love everything about it: recognizing the streets, hearing that Texas lingo, and of course, the glitz and glamour. I even love the villain of the show. Who shot J.R.? Hell, I would’ve! But it wasn’t his wife Sue Ellen or his sister-in-law Pam Ewing that inspired the dress; it was his “mamma” Mrs. Ellie of all people. Her attire annoyed me for 13 seasons straight; always some demure house-coat/duster/moo-moo looking deal. It was never flattering and it was definitely not befitting the first lady of Southfork Ranch! Then I realized that nothing was actually wrong with the dresses, they just needed a waist-line…a belt would do the trick. So then, I began toying with that silhouette in my head.

    But honestly, I think it was that whole late 70s/early 80s vibe that appeals to me most; the silks, chiffons and drapery of the dresses back then just oozed femininity. As I’ve stated, I just think femininity in and of itself is the best weapon in any woman’s arsenal, no matter what her agenda and I wanted to applaud that in a way that was ultra-girly, but super strong. I guess some part of me needed a departure from all the woolen structure of the rest of the Tough Love Collection, but it needed to live up to the sugar-yet-structured theme of the line.

    As I sat in thought with pencil to pad, another one of my 70s favorites appeared on the muted T.V screen: Lady Sings the Blues with Diana Ross (the BOSS!) and I just melted right onto the floor. This movie is not only for lovers, but for fashion-lovers! In the tragic scene where her good friend is beaten to death, I couldn’t help but notice how beautifully the sleeve of her blouse flounced and floated as she frantically leapt to and fro during the chaos. It was a nude colored blouse and it seemed to add a certain poetic justice to an otherwise brutal scene. I know: leave it to me to concentrate on clothes during a tragic death…but an entire industry has been built around doing just that. Hell, they win Oscars for it!

    While these two shows inspired the torso and sleeve of this dress, I’d have to say the pleated heart is alllllllll mine; and if there ever was an inspiration for it, I can’t recall. If anything, it goes back to the original theme of love and the complexity thereof. It speaks to the soft, yet strong. It reminded me of a dream, hence the name ‘Enchanted’. While it mimics the Armor jacket, it is unique unto itself….and as over-the-top as any woman in Dallas would be. I guarantee she won’t be singing the blues in this dress!

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