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. 

Tiger Lilies & Fire Opals, a maternity photo shoot for a ballet dancer

Meredith "Strathmeyer" Worobec is an amazing professional ballet dancer that I've had the honor and privilege of working with since 2011. One day my friend and photographer Amanda Tipton were musing about Meredith who was pregnant. We started brain storming how we could do the most epic, ballet maternity shoot for her. We researched a ton of different maternity photos and came up with a rough idea of what we were aiming for.

I created Meredith's gown with the idea of it being this combination of "baby bump/goddess/maternity/ballerina". I had several pounds of chiffon in a lemon yellow, tangerine, rust orange and scarlet. I wanted to use the oranges because I was thinking of all the energy and potential of a new life being made by one of the most beautiful dancers I've ever known. Orange also symbolizes energy, vitality, cheer, excitement, adventure, warmth, and good health. However orange is sometimes tricky against the skin so I chose to put the scarlet as the upper layer to compliment her complexion and have the orange and yellow layers flare out from underneath. I did the supporting bodice with spangled antique gold and added 'fire opal' Swarovski crystal beads. I cut the skirts for this in such a way to have the maximum amount of "fly" (movement). I named this design "Tiger Lilies & Fire Opals".

Meredith rocked her sweet 30-week baby bump in what ended up being 27 yards of chiffon in the mud and cool weather, (en pointe in ballet shoes), like the tough-as-nails career dancer she is.

Overall, we wanted to make Meredith feel beautiful like the goddess we perceive her as during this very special time in her life. Amanda's immense skill with the lens perfectly captured the spirit of what we had been envisioning. I was so proud to help create this. 

  Gown:  Rachael Kras  |   Photography:   Amanda Tipton   | Model &   HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

Gown: Rachael Kras | Photography: Amanda Tipton | Model & HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

  Gown:  Rachael Kras  |   Photography:   Amanda Tipton   | Model &   HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

Gown: Rachael Kras | Photography: Amanda Tipton | Model & HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

  Gown:  Rachael Kras  |   Photography:   Amanda Tipton   | Model &   HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

Gown: Rachael Kras | Photography: Amanda Tipton | Model & HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

  Gown:  Rachael Kras  |   Photography:   Amanda Tipton   | Model &   HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

Gown: Rachael Kras | Photography: Amanda Tipton | Model & HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

  Gown:  Rachael Kras  |   Photography:   Amanda Tipton   | Model &   HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

Gown: Rachael Kras | Photography: Amanda Tipton | Model & HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

  Gown:  Rachael Kras  |   Photography:   Amanda Tipton   | Model &   HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

Gown: Rachael Kras | Photography: Amanda Tipton | Model & HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

  Gown:  Rachael Kras  |   Photography:   Amanda Tipton   | Model &   HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

Gown: Rachael Kras | Photography: Amanda Tipton | Model & HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

  Gown:  Rachael Kras  |   Photography:   Amanda Tipton   | Model &   HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

Gown: Rachael Kras | Photography: Amanda Tipton | Model & HMAU: Meredith Strathmeyer Worobec. All rights reserved.

 A fun, behind the scenes shot of working in the mud with chiffon. Rachael (Left), Meredith (Right). Photography by:  Amanda Tipton

A fun, behind the scenes shot of working in the mud with chiffon. Rachael (Left), Meredith (Right). Photography by: Amanda Tipton

  A fun, behind the scenes shot. Rachael (Left), Meredith (Right), Amanda (Front)

A fun, behind the scenes shot. Rachael (Left), Meredith (Right), Amanda (Front)

 Gown sketches by Costume Designer  Rachael Kras

Gown sketches by Costume Designer Rachael Kras