I finished this reconstruction project more than a month ago, but I’d still like to show it to you.
This dress started its life as some poor woman’s dress in the 80’s.
While this print would typically be too much for me, I was inexplicably attracted to it at the thrift store. The print deserved to be used for a more daring style than the simple silhouette of the original dress.
I’ve tried to imagine what this print is supposed evoke, but it boggles my mind.
It does seem like some sort of abstract mystery animal print. Is it supposed to be a drug-induced vision of a leopard? Or maybe a psychedelic snake? Or perhaps some sort of prehistoric bug? Maybe I’m completely off-base here, and its supposed to be interpreted as cracked dirt, or sections of cooled rock floating in molten lava.
Anyway, my inclination is to label it an animal print. And since I couldn’t determine what animal should be matched with the print, I thought it necessary to make up an animal (this is where my mind goes while working on projects). It’s like something out of Monsters, Inc. The animal has a long snake-like body, with paws, head and fur like a leopard, and a hard beetle shell down it’s spine. Leopake is the best name I could come up with (I apologize for giving anyone Napoleon Dynamite flashbacks. I know some of you thought of a liger just now. Admit it!).
To me, the turquoise leopake sounds like some sort of children’s book. Or like something out of a creation story or myth: “The turquoise leopake stretched its body and slithered, and water flowed through the land.”
That last thought may call for an explanation. My youngest sister told me she was recently tasked with writing a creation story for her high school English class. I did not intentionally connect that assignment with this reconstruction project, but for some reason I soon found myself writing a creation story in my head. No, this wasn’t something that I thought about while in a dream state, this was actual conscious cognitive thought. My brain is a never-ending Ferris wheel of crazy.
Below are the steps in the reconstruction process. You can skip to the end if you’re only interested in the finished dress.
The cost of this project was about $1.50, and I spent between 4 and 5 hours on the reconstruction.
Et, voila, c’est fini!
The Reconstructed Dress
Sorry the bow is so messy. It is difficult to tie a bow that high up in the back on oneself. I found that I had to tie it and then try it on, and then re-tie it and try it on again to get the bow tight enough.
I feel like I need to make up my own dance moves in this dress. Everyone, do the Leopake Shake!
I want to make a yellow belt to go with this dress. I’d also like to find a yellow cardigan, so I can wear the dress in the transition between summer and fall. But it may not get much wear this year.
What do you think this print is supposed to be interpreted as? Have you ever encountered a strange print that really had you baffled?