You don't often come across many women like my client. Intellectual and creative, with a thirst for knowledge, and a gift and passion for healing. It was then no surprise to me then, that when we discussed creating a gown for her for the Breast Cancer Gala, Cayman's gliztiest black tie event, the image of Minerva, the Roman Goddess of wisdom, medicine and intellect came to mind every time I thought of my client and the project.
In doing my research, I was sent this image of Minerva by Emily Balivet in which I saw my client's attributes of grace, strength and wisdom reflected, and this was the direction I decided to take the design of the gown with my client's approval.
My process of designing a gown requires study of the client's body, movement, habits, lifestyle, and personality in order to create a final piece that will allow me to bring out everything that is beautiful about her. My client essentially becomes my muse, and what a muse this client proved to be!
From my initial sketches, we chose a gown that would reflect this Goddess-like aspect of her but also be comfortable to wear (even Goddesses need to be comfortable!). The color had to fit with her personality, and exude the level of command that Minerva the Goddess would inspire if she swept into the room.
And so we decided it had to be red. Take no prisoners, no holds barred red.
I found the exact tone of red we would need at my couture fabric supplier in New York, and then we began the fittings.
As always, we create a toile for every couture design at Isy B., a rough mock up of the shape of the dress to check that the fit, and that the concept work. Then we begin to construct the underpinnings. The inner construction of an Isy B. gown is key for fit and for comfort. The materials I use are chosen to keep our muses comfortable and confident at events that can continue for several hours. I love to photograph the process of design and construction over the months!
The whole design process is surprisingly emotional for me. I alternate between leaping up and down like an excited small child and almost crying at how beautiful my client looks. Like I said, emotional work!
The final result is stunning and I can't take my eyes off her. The lines of the dress add a softness her body, giving it a feminine strength, grace and fullness. She irradiates the spaces around her and all eyes are on her.
She is quite simply magnificent, like Minerva the Goddess that inspired her gown.
Thank you to Melissa Wolfe of Better Angle Photography for the stunning photo at the Cayman Islands Breast Cancer Gala.