I know I kept it from you but I really felt you had to see my design in person. Not only mine--all the awesome 50+ designs throughout the museum.
My piece of art was "Mrs. Koch and Her Children." It's a Victorian painting of a mother and her two daughters. I chose the painting because I loved how Mrs. Koch looks like she really loves her girls. So many family portraits are stiff and formal. Mrs. Koch's dress is frou frou and over-the-top. While it was probably the fashion in Victorian times I had to laugh. She probably wore that get up to do everyday chores--the laundry, dishes, taking care of her daughters--I'm lucky if I get a shower, let alone get my makeup and hair done!
But that's another point too--she's put together but not quite "perfect." Her hair is a little messy. Her cheeks are flushed as if she just barely wrangled her girls in time for the painting. One daughter has her dress up over her knees and the other is missing shoes (they sit, cute and detailed right under her little bare feet).
I decided to capture Mrs. Koch's gown for my flower piece. I hope I did her proud!
I tried to stay true to the dress-I wanted a fitted bodice and full skirt. I used white roses, white hydrangea, and Million Star baby's breath for the skirt. I created a little waist sash with lily grass and a little side detail using white peonies. We wanted the piece to appear as though the painting had come to life. My dad and husband built a frame for the base and we trimmed it with decorative molding similar to the frame on the painting.
The bodice was my favorite part. We used silver tree, a plant native to South Africa. It has a naturally blue/green appearance and it was the perfect compliment to the sea-foam color of Mrs. Koch's dress. We glued the leaves on by hand. My husband wove lily grass into a corset similar to the one on the painting. I wasn't patient enough for this task and I think he did a great job! :) The dress in the painting doesn't have detail on the shoulders but I wanted a pop of color somewhere so I added little shoulder details with ti leaf loops and cymbidium orchids.
I wanted the piece to be 3D so I added a little train to the back of the dress using lots of Million Star baby's breath and white hydrangea.
I hope you like it as much I liked creating it! I am so pleased with how it turned out. Ironically mine was not the only dress or bust made of flowers. There were five! Which was crazy! Somehow we were all thinking on the same wave length. None of us collaborated before hand and the museum league told us this was the first year anyone made a single dress out of flowers--let alone five! :) It was great fun to see how each designer chose to represent fashion through flowers.