A breakdown of the designs of each of the MLP gala dresses I did this year, continuing with Twilight Sparkle!
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 Applejack's duds 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.
*********In which Twilight Sparkled. Like, a lot.
Ladies and gentlemen, my favorite dress of the six. Twilight’s dress was the easiest to design, one that I had visualized clearly in my head before the group ever talked about doing gala dresses, so when I sketched this one out, I went straight to ink and watercolors, knowing I wasn’t going to reconsider one inch of it. In fact, this dress stayed perfectly true to the design even through the construction process.
I chose a more traditional ball gown silhouette because not only does her gown bell out in the show, but because Twilight Sparkle is the main character, and also somewhat vanilla. I wanted her to be a prominent figure without having the most experimental silhouette lines. I let the fabric be the real eye-catcher, layering different types of fabric in different shades of blue, using gradients in the sleeves to represent the gradients in the sky during the twilight hours, and of course, lots and lots of stars. Yes, they are all hand sewn on.The first step is glitter acceptance.
I should mention that pictures don’t capture even 1/16 of the amount of glitter that is on that dress, which is mostly glitter-bombed satin, silk, or tulle. Even the petticoat was glitter coated, which is partly why I don’t mind it peeking out. I will forever be finding blue glitter in awkward places in my apartment, at my work, in my clothes, in my skate gear, in my bellybutton…you name it. Occasionally my boss comes into work and says that she found blue glitter somewhere in her house. This dress shat glitter Ke$ha style, all day every day for the three months it was in construction, and there was still plenty left over to rub off on Ashley and the rest of us throughout the convention. The vanishing act that never happened.
For those familiar with our MLP group from Dragoncon 2011, you’ll notice we have a different Twilight from last year. While we were super sad to lose Positori, we were very fortunate to have someone like Ashley come in. Fortunately the switch out happened before the dress was cut, but I had already finished the petticoat several weeks beforehand and forgotten all about the height difference between the two girls until Ashley went to get dressed at Dragoncon…which is why Ashley’s petticoat is visible all the time. Could we have pinned it up for the time being? Sure, buuuuut we didn’t.What I would change for next time
Add more stars. Larger ones, too. When I was neck deep in hand sewing all those little turds on, they seemed endless and huge, but many of the smaller ones gets lost in photos with the six of us. Clearly, more is more.
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 by ~ me!
Modeled by ~ Ashley
Photo by ~ Eurobeat Kasumi