Costumer's Notebook

Often as I'm working I get curious peeks over my shoulder at my various notebooks to see my sketches and what I'm working on. Working off this idea, I named my blog "Costumer's Notebook" to help share some of the design work, the challenges, the triumphs and the end results of putting together productions or projects. I've found the people really enjoy getting to see what goes on behind the scenes. 

"Spring"

The driving inspiration for the “Spring” gown was from an excerpt in Cassandra Clare’s book “City of Ashes” (The Mortal Instruments series, Book 2). Clary Fray, the main protagonist, goes to a party that includes fairies on the guest list. 

"She looked again—and froze. The [fairy] faces that had seemed so lovely to her were still lovely, yet behind them lurked something vulpine, almost feral. The girl with the pink and blue wings beckoned, and Clary saw that her fingers were made of twigs, budded with closed leaves. Her eyes were entirely black, without iris or pupil. The boy dancing next to her had poison green skin and curling horns twisting from his temples. When he turned in the dance, his coat fell open and Clary saw that beneath it, his chest was an empty rib cage. Ribbons were woven through his bare rib bones, possibly to make him look more festive.”

~Cassandra Clare, "City of Ashes" (The Mortal Instruments series, Book 2)

Flowers emerge from between velvety appliqué rib bones. Knotted raw silk ribbons weave in and out and cascade down around the body. Each cherry blossom appliqué is three dimensional with tufts of tulle and Swarovski crystal. Hand stitched and finished.

Extended length corset top is constructed from a dark chocolate silk velvet flat lined on top of strong domestic coutil corset canvas. The style is a of blend both the Tudor style “flat front” stays with the Victorian style corsets that smooth over the hips. Back lacing with side back lace openings to allow for different hip widths. The skirt is made from many yards of silk chiffon layered over a silk satin charmeuse. Both are printed with an x-ray pattern of human bones.

“Spring” is a gown from a 6-part collection of original designs by Rachael Kras. Each gown derives inspiration from the spirit of a forest aspect- “Morning”, “Spring”, “Summer”, “Autumn”, “Winter” and “Night”.

Design and construction: Rachael Kras

Photography: Amanda Tipton

Model: Candice Bergeron, Ballet Dancer

HMUA: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec

To the reader: Thank you for finding inspiration in these photos. Please preserve all credits for the artists involved when sharing. All rights reserved.

  Design and Construction:  Rachael Kras  |   Photography:   Amanda Tipton   | Model: Candice Bergeron |   HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

Design and Construction: Rachael Kras | Photography: Amanda Tipton | Model: Candice Bergeron | HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

  Design and Construction:  Rachael Kras  |   Photography:   Amanda Tipton   | Model: Candice Bergeron |   HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

Design and Construction: Rachael Kras | Photography: Amanda Tipton | Model: Candice Bergeron | HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

  Design and Construction:  Rachael Kras  |   Photography:   Amanda Tipton   | Model: Candice Bergeron |   HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

Design and Construction: Rachael Kras | Photography: Amanda Tipton | Model: Candice Bergeron | HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

Inspiration/concept board for this project...

 Close up of beading and applique details. Design by:  RachaelKras.com

Close up of beading and applique details. Design by: RachaelKras.com

 Corset in progress. Design by:  RachaelKras.com

Corset in progress. Design by: RachaelKras.com

To the reader: Thank you for finding inspiration in these photos. Please preserve all credits for the artists involved when sharing. All rights reserved.

This project was in collaboration with famed jewelry artist Andrea Li Designs and debuted along side the launch of her astonishing "Rooted" collection. These gowns debuted on the runway during Denver's Fashion Week in October of 2015 at "The Show, A Haute Couture Runway Show".

Recommended reading: The Mortal Instruments Series