2.02.2010

Creating A Grammy Dress


In the fashion industry we have a few big and exciting yearly events, but almost nothing can compare to the effort and production that goes into the Grammy's. For as long as I can remember, the Grammy's were the one award show that I couldn't miss on TV but it never crossed my mind that I'd ever get to go in person... At least not until I got a call from the people at ET Canada asking me if id like to correspond for them. Of course, I didn't hesitate to say yes!!

Right after I put the phone down the first thought that came to mind was: "What am I going to wear!?". Very early on I decided that this would be the perfect showcase for my first creation. Except, I didn't have a first creation... What I did have was a book full of sketches and designs that James and I had been working on for a few months, but none of them were "red carpet dresses" per se.  What I love about the Grammys is that it's one of the few times (outside of a fashion tent) that it's acceptable to wear completely outlandish pieces in public.  I promised myself that I'd take advantage of this opportunity and that I wouldn't go the "safe" route with something easily forgettable. So I sat down to design my Grammy dress from scratch...

This task wasn't easy for me. For one thing, almost everything has done before in the thousands of dresses that have graced the hundreds of red carpets over the last few decades. How would I make my dress different? How would I try to stand out from the dozens of other pretty ladies there in gorgeous gowns? I set out to design something a little unusual - not in the Lady Gaga red latex and a solar system way - just something slightly different than expected. I decided I wanted to create a dress that would have looked futuristic 200 years ago. Something like an 18th century lady superhero might wear to a ball. I started out by drawing a dress with a classic silhouette and then I updated it with a gold mini skirt and more costume-y accessories like the gold plated shoulder armor. The nice thing about the music industry is that dressing up for them is very much about fun, and I had tons of fun with this!!

A lot of thought went into the color too.  In my day-to-day life I'm a very monochromatic kind of girl and I love my blacks and grays, but when you're designing a dress to be seen on bright red carpet you want to go a little more daring with the colors. I went fabric shopping and picked out the royal blue silk because it had such a richness to it and the 24k gold accents gave the piece the regal feel I wanted. I then took my fabric and sketches and met with a dress maker down the street who I worked closely with over the next month, slowly turning my sketch into a reality. I even put James to work again, this time creating the gold armor pieces which he covered in real gold leaf!

The dress turned out just as I had hoped. Its not the greatest creation, but it's MY creation... my first of many. My upcoming line won't be a collection of costume Grammy dresses (or a collection of antique superhero uniforms) but, like my very first dress, it will continue to draw inspiration from the past while at the same time including elements and fabrics with a more futuristic feel.

I'm just a baby starting out at this. I'm fortunate to have good friends who also happen to be the worlds greatest designers and I respect their work immensely. Over the last six years they have let me wear their clothes and see up close what a truly great piece of clothing looks and feels like. In this little adventure of mine I will be relying extensively on their expertise and their years of training to help guide me as I have neither at this point. The only thing I do have is an open mind and an eagerness to learn. Hopefully these qualities, in addition to my knowledge of what looks and feels good on me as a woman will yield some positive results with my new line, Rococo.

One thing I will promise: No matter what,  I will be taking this very seriously!!

XOXO
COCO
P.S In my next blog I'll explain how I ended up with the name Rococo!

50 comments:

katthroatworld said...

great dress! good luck on your line! :) and hooray for an official name!

Amory Kipling said...

Awesome to hear the story behind the dress. It's absolutely gorgeous and I'm glad you enjoyed the Grammys. I can't wait to see your line!

Ashlynn said...

I love your dress you wore! Gorgeous! I love the victorian 1800's era! It has always been the era where I have gotten my fashion inspiration from. Do you know where your line will be featured and sold at yet?

FashPack said...

I was going to write a negative comment about another hack celeb trying their hand at fashion design. But you should prove me and all the other non-believers wrong. Best of luck to you..

OLIVAROSE said...

Coco, I was ABSOLUTELY blown away by your dress! It was all you had hoped for and more, a unique and stunning number. Quite honestly, I think you had the best dress of the night, a lot of the nominees wore outrageous dresses but couldn't pull them off, but you rocked your creation! Kudos to you and James, I hope to see plenty more in the future (and hopefully on sale to the general public :D).

The Calvin Show said...

I'm not gonna lie, Coco...I'm on the fence w/ the dress. I get your vision, yes, but I see a sexed up Snow White more than anything. Regardless, you're a faboolicious bunny!

http://calvinshow.blogspot.com

fernandahaiabe said...

I loved your dress and your Brand name! I love Rococo stuff!
You look really unique wearing that dress!
I love you and I admire you! You're like an inspiration to me!
please, see my drawing! I made it inspired by you!
kisses!!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hrfernanda/4304985279/

Meg said...

I like your dress and am excited to see what else you come up with for your line.

Charlie Romo said...

I'm so excited for you, Coco! Your enthusiasm, natural aesthetic & eye for all things appealing will guide your designer-magic gr8 places.

From watching you over the years, you make it very clear that fashion glows more from the soul than the clothes. ROCOCO will seal that with a kiss!

Cheers to you and your ambitions! I await more of your line with baited breath. <3 :D

Kelly said...

That dress was truly unique, who else would have thought of it? Best dress of the night! Your line will do fabulous, I have faith in you. It's lucky that you can get fashion designing advice from so many great people, but your open mind will get you far!
Annamarie S.

Coco said...

Hooray for your first creation, Coco! I like how your inspiration was something extraordinary. :)

And yay! I know you'd choose RoCoco. Best of luck on your clothing line. :)

l'estonienne said...

I'm agreeing with 'The Calvin Show' here Coco... The dress was a tad too Halloween-Costume for me. A beautiful costume, but a costume all the same. I do hold high expectations for your clothing like, especially prêt-à-porter. You have an excellent personal style!

♥Lola said...

Loved this dress Coco! Would love to feature your line on wikifashion when it is released :)

Anonymous said...

I thought it was pretty good, especially for a first effort. Costumey extravagance doesn't appeal to all tastes. Especially if it hasn't been marketed to them yet.

But, I loved the colours. they were gorgeous and rich and i loved the peekaboo skirt.

Even if you only make items for yourself over the next few years, as practice for your line, I think you'll be making some great stuff in a few years. You have better potential than most celeb designers: you have a good eye, creativity, and a strong work ethic (I assume since you're a top model).

No matter what anyone else says, i personally look forward to seeing more of your designs.

At the end of the day, no one can deny that it looked great on you (if only you!), so even if you only ever make clothes for yourself, at least you'll be unique, ravishing and comfortable in your own style.

Anonymous said...

also, holy crap, are you several inches taller than Heidi Klum? you must be wearing some crazy heels.

Anonymous said...

loooooovvvveee the dress

MAISON CHAPLIN said...

Darling your dress is very Baroque, it just made my day!!

mila said...

Wow, that is such an amazing idea to do old-futuristic! BTW , I LOVE the dress:)

MEME-STYLENEWBIE.BLOGSPOT.COM

FASHION DOOHICKEy said...

This is dress is a stunner. Really. :) I love it. Good job Rococo.. ;)

lu-c said...

you look apsolutely stunning coco, great work with the amazing design, it would seriously sell so fast.
Good luck, xx

Kimberley said...

Your is amazing. I can't wait to see more

Anonymous said...

I love the design of your dress it looked amazing and the dress is so different and unique. Good luck with your label.
xx

stylespotterfashionblogger said...

EXCITING!!!!! just found your blog through your twitter! You one of my absolute favourite models so it has made me quite happy to find out your a blogger.
Anyway, I love your dress and Rococo is an ace name. Like it, like it, like it a lot!
Please check out my blog
http://stylespotterfashionblogger.blogspot.com

Oeuforie said...

Great dress !!
So happy for youuuu =)

Krissy said...

Congratulations on the debut of your first dress! You could have fooled me! If you hadn't said, I wouldn't have guessed this was your first at all. But I'm glad to hear it'll be the first of many more great things to come from you and your line. :D

Maya l'Abeille said...

It's really interesting to read your description of the whole design process!
I think that's really awesome. Thank you for taking the time to share it.
I look forward to seeing more of your line, and good luck with it! Is there any particular designer that inspires you most to create?
-Maya

Anonymous said...

I don't think it was very well received.

I think you have a good chance. It might be worth going to design school! Why not?

Sean Smith said...

awesome!!

Sean Smith said...

amazing!

Bru said...

Love, I can't wait to see more.Where you gonna sell the clothes?

dancinginchiffon said...

great post!

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I did not like the dress. It was too costume and not elegant, it was like you just put a slit through the dress and some gold shoulder pads. As someone said, a sexed-up halloween-esque snow white. Also, looking at the material, it just looked cheap, what was the fabric, by the way? Keep working at it and I'm sure you'll learn how to appeal to the masses and create something beautiful! The best of luck to you on your new venture! There's always next time :)

Cecilia said...

Not sure about the shoulders but I like the rest of it!

It reminds me of Snow White - but with a yellow mini-skirt rather than a long full one with SW's blue bodice extended to cover the rest of the dress!

Mary Jane said...

oh my god! i can't believe you have a blog!!! that's so amazing! i just love your photos!!! i first heard about you when you were the face of the greek clothing line BSB and since then you've become one of my favourite models so far!!! can't wait to see your clothing line! im sure it's going to be amazing! this dress has an ingenious design since it makes the legs look endless. in other words, i love it! great job!

ElodieVeryPetit said...

you like a princess ! love it :)

slim shady said...

such a tasteless dress, what were you thinking? gosh, proves that just because you're a model doesnt mean you have taste. sorry ohsococo, your dress was ohsougly.

Renne Stower said...

In regard to the last comment, I think she explained VERY WELL what she was thinking in this blog, did you even read it? If anyone doesn't have taste its you for having left such a pathetic negative comment. Its very easy to sit there on your computer and criticize someone who actually did something creative with their life. When was the last time you created something? When was the last time you ever did anything meaningful in your pathetic life? Id hasten to say never.

Those who cant do, critique.

Fancy Pants said...

the spirit in which you designed your dress, your creation philosophy if you will, is great. I like the playfulness and imagination with which you approached this undertaking.
I can't wait to see what else comes. Part of your persona as a model is that your very much full of life and energy, I hope that this part of your character will continue to come out in your design.
Good luck

Pina Colada Kisses said...

How exciting are you wearing one of your dresses?
http://pinacoladakisses.blogspot.com/

ZY(Zakuro Yugo) said...

Impressive and Unique.

Both like a Knight costume and a Queen dress.

Your hairstyle reminds me of Snow White.

Rousspétée said...

Hey ! I like it ! Never saw that before I think: I love the golden shoulders !

BloodyCherry said...

Hi Coco :) I'm a big fan of yours and an aspiring Model myself :)
Loved the dress and its so great that your starting your own line now.. I'm planning on doing that too.

Hopefully you'll hear about me soon.

Lots of Love
xxx

Birthday Girl said...

im so pleased that you put so much thought and energy into creating this dress, it looks fantastique!

i just did a post on you, one of my favourite shoots ever!

come check it out!

http://nineteen-candles.blogspot.com/2010/02/moco-coco.html

xx

Jenna said...

Mmmmm I love that dress. =]
You're incredible.
Good luck on your line, lovely!

Samantha said...

I have to be honest as well and say I don't like the dress either. Like others have said, the dress reminds me too much of a Halloween costume. The fabric also comes across as cheap and heavy.

But don't be discouraged by the bad comments including mine. Being creative takes hard work as I'm sure you already know. And also trial and error. As you said just work hard and good things will follow. Good luck Coco and I look forward to seeing your next creations!

quidessential said...

I LOVE that you were daring enough to wear your very own creation to such an important event. And check out those should pads! FAB!

On a different note, it's absolutely refreshing to see such a candid and kind side from one an industry that is so often viewed as superficial and self-serving. THAT is the spirit that will take you beyond!

Clare said...

It's great to finally see one of your creations. Very impressive! I'm loving the colour, you looked absolutely stunning and you really stood out, nice job Coco!

lifestyle week said...

The dress looks awesome....Its amazing that you have taken the task of creating your own dress for the occasion. The dress looks gorgeous. Best of luck for your upcoming clothesline.

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