Friends, be honest: other than baby-making (or its gay twin) with a committed, consenting, adult partner, is there any other time you really want to see someone naked? And even then.
I'm against censorship, but back in the glory days of Hollywood, when you couldn't show two adults kissing on a queen-size bed much less display a navel, there was something charming -- and alluring -- about the way costume designers got around the production code, as it was then known.
|Gilbert Adrian's costumes for Ziegfeld Girl.|
Legendary designers like Jean Louis, Adrian, Orry-Kelly, and Travilla, using chiffon, illusion, and soufflé (or is that the same thing as illusion?), cleverly suggested nudity without exposing a lot of bare skin for stars like Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich, and countless others (many of whom were probably thankful for the cover).
If it doesn't exactly pass for the real thing, well, we get the idea.
|Dietrich in a peek-a-boo Madame Karinska creation in Kismet (1944).|
|Rita Hayworth costumed by Jean Louis in Salome (1953).|
|Jean Louis costume for Salome.|
|Orry-Kelly covers up Marilyn Monroe (barely) in Some Like it Hot (1958)|
|Jean Louis gown designed for Dietrich's cabaret show.|
My Scheherezade -- or whatever I'll end up calling it -- costume is a tribute to campy Forties Hollywood exotica, so I'm including as much simulated nudity as possible while maintaining a classic Forties silhouette. The midriff top, complete with shoulder pads, is based on a vintage Advance playsuit I made for Cathy the summer before last.
On Monday, I bought a nude bra at Marshall's for a whopping $6.99 -- and girls, you really don't have to pay more than that: mine fit fine (wink) -- which will form the foundation for the top. I draped the flesh-toned power net over it, and to give it sparkle, draped the gold mesh over the power net, and then treated the layered fabrics as one.
I used a very short stitch and a narrow zig zag to keep the stretch in the seams.
Still very much a work in progress -- I haven't added the beads or other trim -- but I think you get the idea. I'm practicing my Marie Montez hauteur here.
Readers, do you agree that simulated nudity is often more erotic that real nudity?
Have you ever worked with fabrics like illusion or soufflé? Did it create the nude look you were going for or would you have been better off walking around in pasties?
Have a great day, everybody!