I was lucky enough to see this costume in person in Palm Beach at the Society of the Four Arts. Though I wasn't allowed to take photos, I was able to stick my nose right up to the costume. I'm posting my notes here and exhbit photos to illustrate my observations.
Wings and Support
The gown is sewn shut in the back - there are no laces or snaps or anything of the sort. Here is Freya's exhibit pic (left), and Kasey's (right).
The sign said the gown had an undercorset made to support the wings.
You can just see it peak out in Jamie's (left) and Lecourtisane's pics (right).
While I'm sure the metal struts were heavy, the wings themselves were light as air! The breeze from the airconditioner was making them sway a bit, and Ferd blew lightly on them and they moved!
The wings were netting (not nylon like pantyhose, but almost like tulle) and the edges of it must have been stiffened somehow, because the netting looked like the edges were simply stitched to the metal frame, and I don't know how it didn't just rip! The "vertical" edge only (not the top or bottom) was painted gold! The wing had wire running from to each point of the wing, like veins, and there were three slightly thinner support wires running through the wings as well.
Below is my sketch and two of Kasey's exhibit pics:
We figured out that the reason the bodice color never matches the underskirt is because the bodice has an overlay! It looks very much like the sheer stuff used on the overskirt, but ironed out so not much of a crinkle remains! You can see how shimmery it is in Freya's exhibit pic (left), and in Kasey's exhibit pic (right).
The side seams of the bodice appeared to have two rows of top stitching.
Lecourtisane has confirmed that the bodice beading is pearls and seed beads, not pearls and rhinestones. She says they have a metallic luster/sheen so that they sparkle like rhinestones, but they are definitely not rhinestones.
You can see the beading very well in Freya's pics:
And in Kasey's:
Here are my sketches:
At the waist line are two rows of trim - the top is a silver guimp trim with a ribbon running through it. The bottom row is pearls which look like they are sewn on individually. They are slightly more silvery in color than the ones sewn onto the bodice. On the right side (if you are looking at the gown) the nacre has worn off some the pearls!
We now have several excellent photos of the bodice, and all its trim!
Here are some of Freya's:
The trim right at the neck appears to be antique scalloped lace with a frayed edge, with metal tinsel in it. On closer look, the lace has flower petals that look very much like the ones on the lower sleeve, just peeking over the top. I believe they cutout the flowers from this antique lace and appliqued it onto the lower sleeves. Compare below:
Sleeve (right), lace at neck (left). Both crops from Freya's pics.
These flowers are sewn from metallic tinsel of some sort and the petals alternate the thickness and smoothness of the tinsel. But the neckline flowers matched the lower sleeve ones!
Also, in the back of the gown, you can see more of this antique trim peeking out, and I see more bullion, and pearls!
Lining either side is a heavy bullion trim of 6 petaled flowers and leaves on top of a thick line of bullion, much like the edge of the Arwen mourning gown trim. This trim is used on either side of the front bodice V, down each side of the over skirt in the front, and down the back seams of the back of the bodice.
Starting with the upper sleeve. Here are some really good pictures, taken by Freya. There are plenty of others here.
Here are three of Kasey's closeups:
Moving down, we continue with the lower sleeves. Here are some really good pictures, taken by Freya:
The hem itself is unique because it has 5 rows of something like french knots.
The overskirt is unusal - it is made from two different fabrics. One is a metallic crinkle pretty much identical to the Thai Silks stuff in ivory/silver used on Arwen's chase sleeves and the Angel dress. The other is a similar fabric only a slightly different shade of silver, and it's chain stitch embroidered in silver with tiny pearls. I sketched the pattern. You can see it pretty clearly in Freya's exhibit photos
If you were to replicate this and didn't want to embroidery, I think you could probably replicate it with fabric paint and use that applique glue (Alene's?) to glue the pearls on. I used it to glue the sequins on my picnic gown and that stuff is very strong.
The overskirt is formed from panels of these two fabrics that are actually just serged together at the raw edges and then pleated such that it looks like there are two overskirts!
The very center front of the gown is split and the center left and center right panels are the embroidered metallic crinkle (EC). There are 3 pleats on each side. These panels are each sewn to a non-embroidered crinkle (NEC). Then at each side an EC. The way these are attached to the bodice, the NEC panel is pleated under so at the waistline, the edges of the EC panels are touching and the NEC panel is almost like a gore. Next comes another NEC. Then left and right back panels of EC. Then a center back panel of NEC, which was actually done almost like a gore.
Since Drew was sewn into the dress, it looks like it was split down the back and where the split ends, the back gore of the NEC begins.
So there are 3 embroidered crinkle panels on each side of the dress, 2 non-embroidered crinkle panels on each side of the dress, and a back gore of the non-embroidered crinkle.
Here are some photos and sketches to demonstrate. I traced out where the edges are serged on these two. You can also see how the panels are pleated so that the NEC panels are under the EC ones.
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