~grace kelly


Someday I will stop talking about these two dresses. Today is not that day.

Grace Kelly’s wedding dress (designed by Helen Rose, two-time Oscar-winning costume designer) is a masterpiece. Rich materials, exquisitely tailored. Part of what makes this gown so appealing, though, is its proportions. The cummerbund extends from the waist to the underbust, which gives visual lift to the bust. The bodice is essentially three different sections—the cummerbund (solid), the bust (lace over solid), and the upper chest/shoulders (lace alone). Each section is roughly the same size, meaning the rule of thirds has been applied. Everything is well-balanced visually.

Another important thing to remember is that women in the 50s generally wore different undergarments than women today. Kelly was most likely wearing a girdle, which helped shape that slim waist, and the skirt had a significant crinoline and probably had hip padding as well to achieve that silhouette.

Kelly’s dress was produced by a team of 36 seamstresses in six weeks. Despite the close fit of the lace bodice, seams are virtually impossible to find. Hiding seams in lace is not an impossible task but it is time-consuming; it involves overlapping lace appliqué on the seams. The swan neck is also perfect, flowing without wrinkles over her collarbones and laying flat against her neck. No matter how she holds her arms, there is no strain on the bodice.

And then we get to JMo’s cosplay version. 

The proportions are off. The cummerbund doesn’t come up high enough. The result is the illusion of a low bust. There’s also no excuse for the bottom edge to be flipping up like that. She isn’t wearing a girdle (which, I can’t really blame her) and also has little or no hip padding, so the dress as a very flat silhouette. The skirt pleats are weirdly off-center, but the line of buttons is not (how is that even possible?). With her arms out on either side, the bodice is straining across the upper chest. The swan neck isn’t flush like it’s supposed to be and the lace edge isn’t even symmetrical. It’s closer to the buttons on one side than the other. An attempt was made to mirror the lace across the placket but the sides are off by enough to make it look weird.

And those seams are visible from space.

Sure, this is a recognizable copy, but in the same way that Yo-Yo Ma and your eleven-year-old nephew both play the cello. At this stage, I’m forced to assume that the costume department had two days and one fitting with JMo, or that they’re actively trolling everyone with this thing.

anonymous asked:

Bad cosplayer anon here--is there some reason they couldn't stick JMo in period appropriate underthings? Are elasticized girdles and netting petticoats really that hard to find these days? Of course the costume shop would've had to take her measurements when she was in them or the dress wouldn't fit, which makes me wonder if the cruddy reproduction has built-in foundation garments instead. At least it doesn't suffer from OUAT's Curse of the Visible Zipper--although has anyone seen the back?

Good questions. Compression garments aren’t that hard to find these days. In fact, during the short-lived series Pan Am, one of the actresses said in an interview that wearing the correct undergarments was a huge help in getting the look of the period correct, because it forced them into the correct posture. The tricky thing is that a woman like Grace Kelly would have worn a girdle pretty much every day. Her body would be more accustomed to it, so it wouldn’t be a sudden change for her.

But at the very least they should have padded out the hips. I actually wonder if she’s got a crinoline on at all, and that’s still a staple of wedding gowns today.

And I’m going to go on a brief tangent here, in hopes that no one thinks I’m being critical of JMo’s body: the silhouette of the 1950s wasn’t exactly a natural one. It’s really not until the second half of the 20th century that women stopped wearing shaping garments of one type or another. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with JMo’s measurements! She’s a beautiful woman and in great shape. But in the 50s it would be expected that you wore a girdle to get that extreme hourglass shape.

It’s possible JMo said she didn’t want to wear these things or that she didn’t feel comfortable in them. That’s fine—I’m all for actresses being comfortable in their costumes because so often they’re not. But at that point it becomes the costume department’s job to say “okay, but these things are critical components of this look you want, so if you abandon them, you need to compensate for it somehow.”

If it were me, and I had an actress wanting to replicate this vintage gown without replicating the vintage silhouette, I would remove the cummerbund to deemphasize the waist, and probably add a peplum instead of hip padding. I might have tried to get away from the swan neck too, but that may just be because it’s executed so poorly. It should not be that far off-center, you know?

And to my knowledge, no one has seen the back. I fully expect there to be a zipper. I also expect it to make me cry.