This is River City Rhythm...Based out of Muscatine, Iowa, this high school showchoir travels and competes with some of the toughest competition in the midwest. This year for their "Masquerede" themed show, I designed and hand created this dress that has a ball gown feel, with the movement and depth needed to show off their well rehearsed choreography,

 

One of the most important qualities in any SG design garment is fit...and even with 24 ladies to cater to, I was not willing to sacrifice a flattering fit to save any time. This approach definitely paid off as the team took first place in costuming! 

Unconventional Materials...Challenge Accepted!.. I was given an extraordinary opportunity in my last years at Iowa State University to step outside my comfort zone and find beauty in ordinary things.

 

This garment was hand constructed using plastic window screen as the foundation... From there I hand cut and hand stitched over 500 green and blue flowers made from bubble wrap and paper shop towels. Finally, I stripped electrical wire and used the plastic casing to create the straps to hold the creation together! out of a vision for unconventional children's wear, and a love for Disney movies, "Little Miss Mermaid" was born, and took home first prize at the Fashion Show 2014!

A Snowflake Evening Gown...Armed with another idea to challenge the status quo of conventional garment making, I created "Stained Glass Snowflake".

For this garment, I was particularly inspired by the intricate detailing created by paper cut snowflakes. I first backed my crepe de chine fabric with felt to prevent fraying, then machine quilted the two together using a "snowflake" pattern of my own design. Each of the cutouts were snipped by hand to create interest pieces at the waist, a slit at the hemline, and an entire cape! In contrast with the satin black of the gown, the garment has a very playful, fashion forward look!

The Duct Tape Fashion Show...For three years, I competed in the Iowa State University Duct tape Fashion Show, and learned a very different side of garment construction!

I was very challenged when given the task of creating these garments out of a medium that has inherently no stretch or give to it...While designing and modeling these vibrant and uncomfortable pieces of art, I was able to use fabric to hold positions I had never been able to achieve before, carve out pieces of my top layer to reveal magic underneath, and create stunning garments I never dreamed possible. This art form got a lot of notice, and I was featured in the New York Times on Jan. 3, 2012! 

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© 2015 Shelby Grunder SG Studios