FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Alteration of Morning Glory
Outline the story …
The transforming gown is inspired by the color-changing Morning Glory Pool in Yellowstone National Park Named for its distinctive indigo hues and trumpet flower shape when the hot pool was discovered in the 1880s, the modern-day visitor would be perplexed by its now acidic orange and greens, as I was when I visited the quiet pool A placard nearby describes the history of the pool and how it had become a victim of carelessness The pool was en route to the more popular Old Faithful Geyser, and the hot vents at the base of Morning Glory were blocked by trash, coins, and debris from the passing visitors This altered the temperature, causing thermophilic bacteria to create mats of intense orange colors.
The history of the pool returned to me as I thought about the intense but delicate beauty of nature, and the impact that human interaction has had I wanted to challenge myself by creating an engineered gown that would, like the pool, transform from blue as it was originally, to acid orange and green as it shortly became My design to bring that to life starts with an 1880s bustle dress, heavily drawing from the colors and motif of the morning glory flower: indigo, purple, blue, and white The jacket would then remove to reveal an 1893 trumpet-shaped, fan-tailed evening gown, dyed to resemble the changed colors of the pool, releasing from its folds The design would also come entirely from my stash including repurposed materials to cut waste
Outline the construction…
The inner orange gown is drafted from an 1893 pattern. Fitting from the historical pattern was a tad challenging, but after 3 mockups were fitting nicely over a corset. The skirt, bodice, bias, and trims are yellow silk satin, individually dip-dyed to create a smooth blend from deep orange to acid green. Green mesh was draped and tacked in place once the bodice was completed. The skirt is embroidered with 80 flowers connected by vines that also gradually shift orange hues as they trail up the skirt. A repurposed wedding dress train lace adorns the hemline to mimic the crystalization around the Morning Glory Pool.
The outer blue bodice is drafted from an 1880s pattern and is constructed of navy blue cotton, then dyed indigo and purple, scrap velvet, and dyed buttons from the same wedding dress as the lace. The bustle skirt is created by lining the 1893 orange skirt with pieced blue silk and an elaborate system of ribbon loops at the hemline and between the skirt layers to create the pleats and folds. The 38 loop points were held by 15 pairs of magnets between the skirt and a floating waistband on the purple bodice. Engineering these connection points was extremely difficult and required multiple iterations to create the correct outer look that would allow me to move before releasing the orange skirt by removing the jacket seamlessly.
The ensemble includes a cotton pleated skirt and a bustle cage that collapses as the jacket is removed.
COUNTRY: United States.
What It’s like to compete:
As a second time attempt, this year was certainly more of a creative outlet and less of an impostor syndrome, “I’m nowhere in league with any of these makers, I’ll never be there”, from the first time around. The most rewarding part of participating in the competition is that I can allow myself to think and work creatively, with a somewhat longer timeline that could fit in with other project work. I spent a lot of time spinning about how no one would notice my work and it would all be for naught, but the creative stimulation and repetition again and again from the community and Foundations Revealed that I AM a creative badass was the encouragement that I desperately needed to fuel projects that otherwise felt frivolous. It has given me confidence in my own abilities that allowed me to make business cards, began self-advocating, and gave me the drive to want to do more for myself.
The best advice: start as early as you can and pace yourself. I began thinking and considering ideas as soon as the theme was revealed and was able to slowly chip away at the project. Everything was great until other work pushed the hard stuff to the very end and I had to make sacrifices. Be prudent with your time and make smart choices along the way. Stick to your design, editing, and perfecting, rather than adding the kitchen sink and running out of time near the end to perfect.