Hello, dear image consultants. What you’re looking at here is a picture of my client who wants to be nameless but suggests I just call her “one of your thrilled clients” so that’s what I’ll do.
This story delights me because it involves redesign, repurposing, recycling, as well as closet editing. Aren’t these things we love to do? Let me walk you through the steps of this project.
As you can see, Thrilled Client is wearing this gorgeous hot pink (really hot!) slip dress. It’s a rather heavy weighted silk so it has drape like you wouldn’t believe. It’s luscious!
I need you to imagine two things: imagine Thrilled Client as a redhead. Yes, look again, a redhead. She was a redhead for decades. That’s what she was when I went with her and worked with a designer to create a beautiful gown for her wedding anniversary party, which was probably fifteen years ago. Anyway, look at this root beer colored, sheer bias cut long dress below with cut velvet detail. I picked this fabric out for her for wedding anniversary party. A local designer created it. It would need a slip. I got the idea to make the slip out of a heavy silk in this hot pink color. Can you imagine how that hot pink would look under the sheer root beer color? It was stunning! It looked great with her red hair. She LOVED it.
Editing her closet to work with her new hair color
This slip dress, the root beer colored one, got sent to the consignment store along with many other clothing items that were perfect for her when she had red hair. When she decided to let her hair come in naturally, that gorgeous platinum blond, there was a lot in her wardrobe that had to go. Those warm, rusty, toasty colors just weren’t doing her any favors with her new, natural hair color.
I told her the dress had to go (she was relieved; she loves purging things that don’t work anymore), but I insisted she keep the hot pink slip. The color was gorgeous on her and I promised her I’d figure out way for her to wear it again.
Enter the Skilled Seamstress
One day Erin and I were in her closet and she pulled out this fabulous bold floral robe that had long sleeves and grazed the floor. Now, my friends, I ask you to use your imagination. See this cropped jacket as a floor length hostess robe. It was a vintage piece. It had belonged to an aunt of hers who wore it when she hosted elegant parties in her home for her many friends. It seems to me like it might have been worn in the ’50s or early ’60s. Thrilled Client pulled it out and said, “Should I just get rid of this? I can’t imagine wearing it.”
I said, “Oh no, please don’t. It is so beautiful. And the colors are so great on you.” The lining of the robe was the same color as her hot pink slip. I said, “How about we cut it down and make a jacket for the dress?” I brought in a skilled seamstress and we brainstormed this project. I could see it working so well with her hot pink silk slipdress. Skilled Seamstress suggested we turn it into a cropped jacket. She and I positioned this heavy robe as if it were a jacket, hoping the client could visualize it. I’m not sure that she did but she had total faith in my and Skilled Seamstress. The robe had a long tie to begin with. We’d turn it into an obi belt. I wanted Thrilled Client to have a belt at the waist to tie in the cropped jacket. Skilled Seamstress agreed.
A shopping trip happened while the robe was being deconstructed and repurposed
In the meantime, my client fell for these gorgeous Jimmy Choo ankle wrap shoes. We hadn’t worked with them very much yet. But when the jacket came back from the seamstress and we put the whole outfit together, I knew exactly which shoes would work best. Yes, these fabric Jimmy Choos. They were absolutely delightful with the dress and jacket.
TC’s response brought tears to my eyes
The big day arrived when she was going to wear this new and improved outfit. I couldn’t wait to hear all about it. She sent me this picture and a message.
Brenda, I felt special all evening. My husband raved about that dress and how I looked. I really did feel like Cinderella with my prince. Thank you for your vision. xoxo
What a happy ending!