As the final project of my Pattern II Draping course, I was assigned to make an evening gown for an event for the American Heart Association. There were only a few requirements: the dress had to be evening wear and it had to be red.
I started my research by looking into the American Heart Association. This organization's main purpose is to reduce the amount of heart disease and stroke in all Americans. Knowing this, I came to the realization that an organization as great as this could only exist because something so awful as the prevelance of heart disease and stroke existed first.
From there, I drew inspiration from Greco-Roman mythology and art. I started with the idea of rising from the darkness since that is what all survivors of heart disease must go through. The American Heart Association also is trying to rise from the darkness by preventing all of this disease. With this idea, I drew inspiration from multiple stories and symbols. First, I was inspired by the famous Winged Victory statue of Nike. I then also found inspiration from the story of Persephone and Hates in which Persephone is kidnapped and forced to live with Hates in the Underworld, but she is allowed to spend half of the year above ground with her mother. For the six months every year that Persephone was above ground, it is spring and she has risen from the darkness. I also looked to the first half of the story of Icarus in which he and his father Daedalus are trapped in a maze and to escape, Daedalus crafts wings of wax for Icarus to fly up and away.
From there, I wanted to design a gown in which the wearer would be rising from the darkness. I made several variations of the design with dark bead work at the bottom to represent the symbolic "darkness."
To add fullness to the skirt, I gathered sections of Tulle and attached them in tiers on the outside of the lining. The lining has an altered skirt that is more fitted to allow room for the tulle. Then, to add more fullness, I added a single removeable hoop underneath the lowest layer of tulle.