A breakdown of the designs of each of the MLP gala dresses I did this year, starting with Applejack!
I will be making collages like these for all the dresses this week, but until then to see the entire group photo, click here,
.See Twilight Sparkle's gown here!See Pinkie Pie here.See Rarity here.See Fluttershy here!
Next up: Rainbow Dash
Let it first be known that I am 100% aware that I am not a crazy awesome artist like many of my friends, and so keep that in mind when pointing and laughing at the mitton hands.
*********Jack, Get Your Apples
For Applejack's design, I was heavily influenced by and channeled as much of Annie Oakley as I could. She's one of my favorite historical ladies, and GAWD I LOVE CONCHOS. The western interpretation of country seemed to mesh well for her, partly because Applejack's accent sounds Texan, and partly because her cousin Braeburn's settlement was in a setting that very much mimicked Old West. And, let's be real, Annie Oakley and Applejack would totally be buds.
Applejack needed a gown that would blend in enough to toast champagne with the Hoity Toity’s of such an extravagant event, but also one that wouldn’t constrict her badass-ery, or take her too far from elements that are traditional of her lifestyle and iconic to her character. The silhouette of her gown was clear to me - straight forward, no-nonsense, no extra frills, no frivolous decoration. Everything on her gown must serve some practical purpose. The only way to convince her to strap into some fancy duds would be to provide her with a gown that was practical enough to allow her to be hands on with her business. Do I dare try to make burlap pass for fancy?
The steel-boned corset, textured apron, and fringe are all genuine leather. The skirt and collar is a very loose weave best described as a soft, supple burlap. Seriously, if you could feel that fabric, it’s just…incredible. It was exactly what I was searching for, but after months of shopping, I was starting to think it just didn’t exist. I definitely did a spastic little jig in the store when I found it. Probably my favorite fabric find of this whole project. The boots were actually the ones I had used with the regular outfits last year, painted and prettified. I had already decided I wanted to use my real boots with the regular outfits instead, and these shorter boots were perfect for the skirt length.What I would change for the future
I never got around to getting my gloves, saddlebag, or collar tips together, so I would like to do those before this group comes together again. I'd also like to finish my neck tie.
The wig didn’t get as thick as I wanted, despite sewing in an entire second wig’s worth of hair into it, so I’d like to continue to bulk it up. It’s tricky because of the length, which is so difficult to control. Ultimately I’d like fuller bangs, similar to my regular Applejack wig, and to corkscrew curl the tail of the braid. I’d also like to secure the braid so that smaller hairs won’t catch and frizz on the studs of the corset.
The process of building all six MLP gala dresses took about a year to plan and bring together. I believe we all agreed to put a go on Operation Best Night Ever about a month after Dragoncon 2011, where we had debuted our original My Little Pony group. Gala dresses were the obvious next step. I asked the girls if they would let me design and make the outfits, knowing that I was going to both love and regret it later. But mostly love. All my love.
During the design process, which took place between October and December of 2011, I spent a lot of time considering all the different elements. It was important to me to stay as true as possible to gowns as designed through the television program, and yet somehow make them translate gracefully into human interpretations. The real challenge was ensuring that the gowns would also be both flattering and comfortable for each girl.
Some designs were easier to convert than others. Sometimes I found that what I illustrated wasn’t going to translate well onto a body (either because of what it would do to the silhouette, or because it looked too cartoonish), and I had to adjust accordingly.
Design sketch and modeled by ~ me!
Photo by ~ Eurobeat Kasumi