The Reversible Evening Dress

January 17, 2011

This year the theme for Melbourne Malanka (Ukrainian New Years Eve Ball) was ‘Carnival’, like the circus or fun fair.

Originally I was feeling flowy vibe for Malanka, I wanted something that would just drift across the room on the faintest of breezes. But then the theme for Malanka was announced & I also realised that I’d have to deal with sewing a lot of chiffon & possibly some draping. Truth be told it all got to hard & I just wasn’t that inspired. Then, whilst reading ‘The Golden Age of Couture’, I happened across this Richard Avedon photo;


This dress was designed by Givenchy for Dior for SS 1955. I wanted that dress. PLUS it was in a photo with elephants. Clearly that means it can be worn to a Carnival themed event, right?! Anyway, I couldn’t get this dress out of my mind & I started to think that I was sure I’d seen a pattern for it before, then I found Vogue 2720.

I decided to make the dress in a bright red fabric. Strangely, despite red being my favourite colour, I’ve never owned a red dress, so I figured it was about time. I couldn’t decide on the lining though, so I bought some more of the facing fabric, except it was in black. Then I decided it would be fun to just make the dress reversible. So I did. Then I went a little overboard & made the sash reversible too. THEN, I thought since the theme was Carnival & there are heaps of places at the carnivals (like the hall of mirrors) that are all about visual illusions, why not change it around halfway through the night. I did & it was hilarious. I got SO many looks & double takes. The people I came with (about 7 of us went together) totally freaked because they knew I hadn’t brought a second dress with me. It was so much fun.

Here are some photos from the night (taken by my brother-in-law);

IMG_2066 (Large)
IMG_2213 (Large)
I had to make a few alterations to make the dress work I’ll be posting details on them later this week on my blog. I’ve also posted a few more pictures there.

  1. The way it ties reminds me of a Kimono. It is very beautiful. I seen some oriental fabric with gold embellishments on it at Payless Fabric that would be beautiful used in this pattern too!!

  2. Astounding. Cunning trickery and gorgeous dress. Nice work! Wish I could have seen the faces of your friends after the costume change…

  3. Really beautiful dress, the color and fit suit you very well. I looked at your wedding dress on your blog, did you make that as well?

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